Preston North End boss Ryan Lowe wants a big push at Luton Town ahead of an extended break

Ryan Lowe wants Preston North End to sign-off from action on a positive note when they face Luton Town tonight.

By Dave Seddon
Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 8:00 am

PNE have a two-and-a-half-week gap in the fixture list after the visit to Kenilworth Road, with their next match not until April 2 when they go to Derby County.

The longer than normal spell of inactivity is due to the Blackpool game being moved from its original date on Saturday and then the fortnight’s international break.

Lowe wants the squad in a positive frame of mind during their time off, hence he will be looking for a big performance against a Hatters side who sit just outside the top six.

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Preston North End wing-back Josh Earl in action against Bournemouth's Adam Smith

North End manager Lowe is also mindful that three points in Bedfordshire would keep alive his side’s slim hopes of reaching the play-offs once action resumes next month.

Lowe said: “Mathematically, are the play-offs out of reach? No. Am I realistic? Yes.

"But with a couple of wins, we could be in a position where they are still in sight.

“If we get a positive result away at Luton then go away and have a positive international break – I’m giving them time off with their families – who knows.”

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Lowe will be looking for his side to find their goal touch at Luton after last Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Cardiff.

The defensive solidity is pleasing him but North End aren’t firing consistently at the other end.

"That’s seven clean sheets, when I first arrived I asked the lads to get 10 before the end of the season.” said Lowe.

"I would like to think we can get 10. Keeping the back door shut has been great, scoring goals we’ve been okay, it’s trying to do both which is key.

"With those clean sheets, ideally you need someone who will score you 15-20 league goals a season, your midfielders scoring between eight and 10, your other striker getting 10/12 goals.

"We are just missing that little bit at the moment but it’s not through a lack of trying.”

Lowe expects to have Alan Browne and Liam Lindsay fit after they were substituted at Cardiff with injuries.

Josh Earl returned to training on Monday after a shoulder injury, while Josh Murphy is available after not being allowed to face parent club Cardiff.

Bambo Diaby should be fine after playing through the closing minutes on Saturday with a cramp.

Lowe will be tempted to give the side a touch of freshness, Ched Evans possibly getting a recall to the attack.

Ali McCann would provide fresh legs in midfield after two lively displays from the bench in the left wing-back slot.