Preston North End boss Ryan Lowe felt time was right to hand defender a start

Ryan Lowe’s task of giving all his first-team players a fair crack of the whip continued with him handing a start to Liam Lindsay in Preston North End’s draw with Millwall.

By Dave Seddon
Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 8:00 am

Centre-half Lindsay had not played at senior level for Lowe until Tuesday evening’s 0-0 draw at The Den.

He had pulled on his boots just once in that time, for the reserves in December.

Lowe gave Lindsay the nod to start in the middle of the back three, replacing Patrick Bauer who was named on the bench in South London.

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Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe waves to the travelling fans at Millwall

Keen to see what Lindsay could do, PNE manager Lowe was also anxious to give Bauer a breather after he had started the eight previous matches.

Lowe said: “I thought Liam was fantastic and he’s been like that every day in training.

“While it’s been a pleasure to work with him and have him travelling to matches, I felt his moment had come.

“I thought he handled Benik Afobe very well, so too the other Millwall strikers.

“While Liam has been fantastic since I came through the door, so has Patrick Bauer.

“I’ve got the best of both worlds as manager, having two top centre-backs who can play in the middle of that back three.

“Liam is left-footed so I felt we could have Ryan Ledson getting the ball from him and coming inside, so too Ben Whiteman receiving the ball from his passes.

“Normally it is Patrick going on the right side so maybe it was a surprise to Millwall we played that way.”

Lindsay is the 22nd player Lowe had used in first-team action since he took the PNE job on December 7.

Lowe also named skipper Alan Browne on the bench to give him a rest, Ali McCann starting in an attacking midfield role.

While North End brought back a point from Millwall, it could have been all three as Whiteman struck the post with a second-half penalty.

The spot-kick was given for a challenge on Andrew Hughes at a corner.

Said Lowe: “It was a game of few chances and the one chance from 12 yards you think would go in the net.

“It wasn’t meant to be and to be fair to Ben, it wasn’t a bad penalty.

“Nine times out of 10 he gets that on target. It hit the post and came out rather than hitting the inside of the post and brushing in.

“You always want three points but we’ll take one and move on to the next game.

“We will get the lads who played recovered over the next couple of days and do some work with them on the pitch.”

North End have sold more than 1,300 of their 2,000 ticket allocation for the Hull game.

Seats remain on sale, priced £27 for adults, £21 for seniors, £15 for 12-22, £10.50 for 11-15 and £7.50 for 2-10.