Preston North End boss Ryan Lowe focused on minutes rather than result
Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe was more pleased that his players came through the 3-0 win over Bamber Bridge ‘unscathed’ than with the result.
The Lilywhites opened their pre-season schedule at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium as usual, in the sunshine, and goals from Ben Whiteman, Ben Woodburn and Mikey O’Neill gave them the win.
North End made nine changes at half time but a strong early showing from Brig saw them go in level at 0-0.
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Sean Maguire was subsituted after seven minutes, the only PNE casualty of the game, but Lowe is hoping that knock is not serious. Bambo Diaby was the only first team player, aside from transfer listed Josh Harrop, not to feature.
Despite his side netting three times, once from the spot and two well worked finishes for forward thinking players respectively, it was less about the result and more about minutes.
He said: “I'm more pleased with the lads coming through unscathed, I know Seani went off early on but that was a precaution.
"It was all about getting minutes into the lads, that's what's most important. We had two teams, two 45 minutes for the lads. I was really pleased, it's always nice to score a few goals but the most important thing is the minutes into the lads.
"The result is always nice but at this time of the season there are no points on offer so it is the performance I want to see, particularly off some of the young players who are trying to force their way in.
"It's important that the players are fresh and ready to go. We have another three-and-a-half weeks of pre-season to go before the main encounter.
"It's about getting lads through the minutes, they had some guidance and instructions to follow today, which they did, and scored some good goals.
"They are patterns of plays we'd worked on which is pleasing. At the end of the day it's another game to get our lads' fitness up and we go again for the next one now.”
North End have another full week of training before their next official friendly, with a behind closed doors game set to be played early next week.
With that in mind, Lowe is not keen to risk his charges when time on the training pitch is equally as important as time on a matchday for the time being.
He said: “Bambo is fine, he's just a precaution. Seani was something similar. We've only been training a couple of weeks so I don't want any niggles or any injuries so I just got him off the pitch.
"He got a whack on his leg, we'll get it looked at on Monday morning, he'll have a scan and that will see everything we need to know. Hopefully he will be fine.”