Preston North End boss applauds the development of 21-goal striker

Ryan Lowe has applauded Preston North End’s top scorer Emil Riis for the way his game has developed this season.

By Dave Seddon
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 8:00 am

Riis got some mixed news from the EFL’s dubious goals’ panel yesterday, with him denied a hat-trick against Middlesbrough when his first and PNE’s second goal was officially credited as a Dael Fry own goal.

However, the panel awarded him the one he scored against Queens Park Rangers in April after it was given as a Jimmy Dunne own goal at the time.

It meant Riis finished with 21 goals for the season, 17 in the Championship and four in the Carabao Cup.

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Preston North End striker Emil Riis celebrates scoring against Middlesbrough at Deepdale

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North End manager Lowe thought it took a bit of time for the Dane to adapt to the style of forward play he wanted but he had shown of late what was required.

Lowe told the Lancashire Post: “We’d have like a few more goals in the league because that would have meant us having more points but I’m not taking anything away from Emil.

"He’s been fantastic. In the first couple of weeks I was here he was finding it hard to adapt to what I wanted him to do.

Preston North End's second goal against Middlesbrough has been officially credited as a Dael Fry own goal

"It was more football, more build-up, more hold-up play. His ball retention has got better and he’s laying it off well.

"Before that he was more of a runner at times but you can’t just be a runner, you have to be able to do the other things, especially in my formation.

"Emil is learning every day and will only get better. I’m really pleased he went through the 20-goal barrier.

"He scored goals all through the season so he deserves a lot of credit for how he’s done.”

Riis found the net 12 times in the first-half of the campaign under Frankie McAvoy, those including the four in the Carabao Cup.

Bearing in mind he scored only three times last season after his £1.2m signing from Randers FC, albeit he was on the bench a lot, he showed a huge improvement in 2021/22.

There was a call-up to the Denmark squad in November and while only an unused sub in their Euro qualifier against Scotland, it showed he was on his country’s radar.