Preston North End boss Ryan Lowe heaps praise on stalwart Paul Huntington

Ryan Lowe heaped the praise onto Preston North End’s longest serving player, despite him yet to make the matchday squad under the new boss.

By Tom Sandells
Wednesday, 9th February 2022, 12:30 pm

Paul Huntington, a PNE player for the last decade who has made more than 300 appearances for the club, was in amongst the travelling supporters on Saturday.

The 34-year-old was not named in the matchday squad and was not one of the spare men that Lowe included for games either.

In addition to the 18 named, Lowe will normally take a spare goalkeeper, generally Mat Hudson, and one or two further outfield players in case of injuries in the warm-up – Bambo Diaby and Joe Rafferty at Hull City.

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PNE defender Paul Huntington.

The ‘Cumbrian Cannavaro’ was left out of PNE’s 25-man squad submitted to the EFL but there was a space left that the centre-back could fill.

Lowe praised the character of the Lilywhites’ favourite and knows his time will come.

“He’s been unlucky, Hunts,” Lowe said. “His application and attitude have been spot on every day, I speak to him on a daily basis.

“I don’t want him travelling away from his family overnight when he’s just going to be the spare man at the moment. Bambo and Raff missed out, I don’t need to bring

three.

“I’m not like that, I’d only bring one if I can but ultimately we’ve got to keep the squad together.

“He’s been fantastic in and around the training ground and at some point I’ll need Hunts.

“I will, with the way that injuries come, suspensions or illnesses, whatever it may be.

“He knows that and he’s been a different class since I’ve come through the door.

“Fair play to him being in with the fans.

“I hope he wasn’t on the booze because we have training!

“But that’s what you want, that togetherness is there, not just with me and my staff and the players, but with me, my staff, the players and the fans.”

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There were more than 1,700 North End fans following their team to Hull and back and their efforts have not gone unnoticed.

Lowe said: “They were fantastic, I was singing myself as well under my breath, getting a bit carried away.

“Fair play to them, that’s what they’re there to do, to support us.

“But it’s our job and the players’ job to get them excited and that’s certainly what they’re doing at the moment.

“They’ve been a credit and long may it continue.”

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