'No need for that' - Preston North End boss Ryan Lowe calls for greater respect towards managers

Ryan Lowe Ryan Lowe
Ryan Lowe | CameraSport - Dave Howarth
The PNE manager has come in for his fair share of criticism this season

Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe believes the pressure of management in this day and age deserves greater respect than it often gets.

The Lilywhites chief spoke, in depth, about the criticism and expectation which comes with the job in his press conference at Euxton last week. North End were looking to build on four points against Norwich City and Huddersfield Town - and turn a corner after a poor run of form. But, Preston went on to get thrashed 1-5 by Watford last weekend.

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Lowe, who has seen his side win three of their last 15 games, was subject of more boos at full time and held his hands up to the Deepdale faithful as he headed down the tunnel. It's very much back to the drawing board for PNE, who face Swansea City away from home next. Lowe has a big challenge ahead to win supporters back but, based on his recent comments, hopes to see the North End faithful stick by him as much as possible.

"I've never not had belief in the group of players," said Lowe last week. "When you lose belief in the players, that's the time you think: 'I don't know where we go from here?' I think anyone who sits in this chair and has to answer questions pre-match, post-match, pick a team, put a game plan together with the coaching staff - it's tough, it's not easy. It's not like Championship manager, where anyone can just go on the computer and do it. Sometimes it feels like that's what people think, but it is not.

"I look at all managers up and down the country and watch their mannerisms, press conferences, pre-match and post-match - how they are building up to it and the pressures of it. I watch all of them to be honest. I just think, when managers are under pressure, you listen to what people have to say. Until they are in their shoes - and I know and get that these managers in the top flight are multi-millionaires, but it still doesn't matter. The challenges and the stresses and the pressures of it are the same. Sometimes it is unfair. Sometimes there is a bit of fairness about it, which you get. But, honestly, the job as a title is not easy.

"The pressures are relentless and I just think there needs to be a level of respect shown for managers and head coaches. I am saying that on my own behalf, but I think up and down the country, in every league and division, the pressures are still relentless. And I think most managers try their best - of course they do - to bring the good times to their football club. They don't just set game plans up to not try and win, do they? But, the pressure from the outside world on every manager is massive.

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"It's easy to criticise isn't it? It's easy for someone, behind their phone or computer, to say what they want. They wouldn't pull you up in the street and voice their opinion would they? It just wouldn't work. But, there are obviously people in football who talk about it. I have a saying that unless you've been in that hot seat or been in that situation - you can pass your own comment between you and your mates, around a table in the pub. But, you shouldn't be able to pass comment on anything else because it's just wrong. And do you know what? In football now there is a big thing with mental health; people getting abused and slandered.

"How does that affect their mental health? How does that affect their family and kids? It's tough and I think every manager should be shown a level of respect in that way, because sometimes it's borderline slander and it's terrible. Managers and coaches will lose their jobs, of course, when people don't see things they are doing right. That is fine, I get that, but the slander side of it is totally wrong. Every manager, when they've been under pressure, I try and look at and take a bit from - because there are going to be moments when you need that little bit of help and guidance. It's a tough gig; it's not easy."

Lowe's technical area at Deepdale is in close proximity to those fans situated in the Invincibles Pavilion stand. And, when results do not go PNE's way - like last Saturday - the Liverpudlian has a long walk down the side of the pitch to embark on. North End's boss admits it can be difficult to bite his tongue when it comes to certain individuals.

"Yeah, that's why I don't give too much away and try to just sort of laugh it off, smile it off or blank it out - however way it is," said Lowe. "I am not going to lie, our fans have been absolutely immense to me and the players and the staff. So, I am not criticising our fans. There are a small minority who will voice their opinion and it's hard not to listen to it, when people are shouting from behind or you're coming off the pitch. There is no need for that.

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"There are young kids watching our football team and probably a lot of young kids watching Preston North End be the most it's been for a while. You might be able to do some digging on that, but when you sell 12 thousand season tickets over the past couple of seasons - when they hadn't done it forever and a day. There is a lot of youth in there and they don't need to be hearing that kind of stuff, because guess what? They will follow suit and eventually be the same.

"So yeah, our fans have been different class. There will be a small minority who are disappointed and that's fine - have the disappointment, but don't be aggressive with it or slandering because it's not nice. That goes for every fan up and down the country if truth be known, because their managers go above and beyond. I don't know any manager who doesn't work his socks off to try and get points for the club they are representing and getting paid by. We are no different."

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