Preston boss Ryan Lowe explains early tactical shake-up against Reading

Ryan Lowe has explained the reasoning behind his early tactical shake-up in Preston North End’s Deepdale defeat to Reading.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 21st February 2022, 8:00 am

The Lilywhites manager moved away from his favoured 3-1-4-2 system 10 minutes before the interval.

Lowe switched to a 4-3-3, substituting Brad Potts and putting Liam Lindsay on in his place.

North End trailed 2-0 at the time and were to concede a third goal 11 minutes into the second half.

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Ryan Lowe during Preston North End’s defeat against Reading at Deepdale

They were to reduce the deficit with goals from Daniel Johnson and Cameron Archer but an equaliser evaded them.

Lowe told the Lancashire Post: “Reading played 4-2-3-1 so only had only striker really.

“We had three centre-backs against one striker, so I thought if we went down to two centre-backs we could get the full-backs high up the pitch and playing like wingers to try and push them back.

“When you look at the game, look at our passing and pass completion rate, we were nowhere near.

“That is why I decided to change things when I did.

“We were 2-0 down and needed to get on the front foot, push Reading back.

“I thought we managed to do that a bit, however we didn’t find that extra bit of quality we needed.

“When we changed things, Pottsy was disappointed to be coming off.

“I just said to him it was a change of formation, that was the only reason.

“The performance levels of a lot of the lads in the first 30 minutes weren’t great.

“That is why we decided to make the change early, get it done and see if we get ourselves in the ascendency.”

The defeat was only PNE’s second in 12 Championship games under Lowe and ended a six-game unbeaten run,

Lowe has challenged his players to show a reaction when they host Nottingham Forest tomorrow night.

It might well be that Lowe tweaks the line-up, Lindsay, Ched Evans and Ryan Ledson doing their chances of a start no harm after coming off the bench on Saturday.

Said Lowe: “We have to go again and try to get ourselves on another run.

“Everyone was asking the question about being four points away from the play-offs and can we nick in there?

“We are hoping we can, we have shown we can mix it with the top teams.

“Was Saturday a little step too far for us in terms of all the games and it catching-up?

“I don’t know if it was, we’d had enough time to recover.

“I’m not going to make excuses, I look at myself first and foremost.

“ I asked the group after the game whether I was asking too much of them to keep finding a way but they said it wasn’t too much.”

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