'Was it a good thing?' - how Ryan Lowe responded to Preston North End vote of confidence ahead of Leeds United's Boxing Day visit

Preston North End boss Ryan Lowe acknowledges the fans after the Lilywhites' 2-1 win against Leeds on Boxing DayPreston North End boss Ryan Lowe acknowledges the fans after the Lilywhites' 2-1 win against Leeds on Boxing Day
Preston North End boss Ryan Lowe acknowledges the fans after the Lilywhites' 2-1 win against Leeds on Boxing Day | CameraSport - Dave Howarth
Preston boss has the backing of club owner and director despite results prior to Leeds United win 'not being acceptable'

Ryan Lowe has welcomed the public vote of confidence he received from Craig Hemmings and Peter Ridsdale prior to Preston North End’s much-needed win against Leeds United.

On Saturday, the club owner and director released a joint statement via the club website that backed their under-fire manager following the 2-1 loss at Swansea less than 24 hours previous.

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The defeat at the Liberty Stadium - which came hot on the heels of a 5-1 humbling at home to Watford - was the Lilywhites’ ninth in 15 games. It was a result that saw Preston drop into the bottom half of the Championship table and heightened frustrations among fans who had witnessed their side slip from top of the standings to 13th in just over three months.

While admitting that recent results had not been acceptable, the weekend communication to supporters stressed that much time and money had been invested in Lowe over the past two years and that the club was moving in the right direction under his leadership. Both Hemmings and Ridsdale said they remained confident that the former Plymouth and Bury boss would make a success of his time at Deepdale and asked fans - including those on social media - to respect their decision and give the manager their full backing.

That support was evident on Boxing Day as 21,816 fans were present to watch North End beat Leeds and move back to within a point of the play-off places.

And when asked at the final whistle what he made of his superiors’ public show of support, Lowe admitted it was something he was grateful for. He acknowledged the disappointment fans have experienced in recent weeks but insisted the faith shown in him would be rewarded.

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Speaking to the LEP, the 45-year-old said: ‘I have always had the support of Craig and Peter, but when you have a small minority who voice their opinion - that's fine. I will take criticism, no problem and I'll never, ever have a go at the fans. 

‘(The joint statement) showed me the love that I show them and the work we do. They know how we work and we discussed it and it was out. Look what it did today (Tuesday) - it galvanised the fans and brought them round. The disappointment. I get it, of course I do. I don't get the slander, as I've said many times, but the disappointment - no problem. 

‘As the (Hemmings and Risdale) said, they've invested in us and we've got a fantastic squad, team and staff. It is appreciated by me, every day, working for this football club.

‘All I ever want to try and do is be the best I can be to help the club. Was it a good thing? Yeah, and I have always got that belief from Peter, Craig and the family that we can go and do our bit. We know we have to play more games like that and perform like that. And we will. We'll continue to give it our all.’

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Lowe’s next game in charge is against Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night. Victory against the second-from-bottom visitors could see Preston temporarily move up to sixth in the Championship standings.

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