Peter Ridsdale explains joint statement on Ryan Lowe and informing the Preston North End squad

The PNE director, and chairman Craig Hemmings, released their statement on December 23rd
Preston North End director  Peter Ridsdale chats to manager Ryan LowePreston North End director  Peter Ridsdale chats to manager Ryan Lowe
Preston North End director Peter Ridsdale chats to manager Ryan Lowe

Preston North End director Peter Ridsdale has explained he and chairman Craig Hemmings' decision to release a statement supporting manager Ryan Lowe.

After the Lilywhites lost in the last minute away to Swansea City on December 23rd, the two PNE chiefs outlined their backing for the under pressure Preston boss. It was North End's fifth defeat in seven games at the time and followed the 1-5 home loss to Watford. Ridsdale, in an extended interview with BBC Radio Lancashire, has now reflected on the aforementioned statement.

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"The meltdown I was getting on text, WhatsApp and email messages, I thought the best way - and Craig agreed - was to come out and say 'here is where we stand, as a football club'," said Ridsdale. "The change of a manager is a fundamental change and normally puts you back six to 12 months, maybe two years. Because, any new manager - whatever they say on interview - doesn't like the players, wants their players or wants a different set of players.

"We are sitting here today on 38 points from 27 games. We had a really good start and we've had a less than good period in between - although we've had the odd, good result. We've had some results which, frankly, had we had VAR would've given us more points. And we've had some performances that have been very disappointing, in terms of letting a lot of goals in. But, ultimately we are sitting here on track. If you multiply 38 points from 27 games over a season, it is about 64 or 65 points.

"That is not necessarily acceptable; we want to do better than we've done in previous years. But, just look at how many clubs in the Championship have changed their manager. Some change three times in a season. Are they any better off? Are they any better off today than they were before? Look at the cost of changing your manager. We always believe that you pick someone who you believe in and you back them and you work with them over a long period.

"Simon (Grayson) was here for five years, I think. Alex (Neil) was here for four. Ryan has been here just over two and I would argue one of the most successful managers in the Championship, at the moment, is somebody called Mark Robins at Coventry. He is the longest serving manager in the Championship; they don't knee-jerk react if they have a bad start. And last year, he took them to the play offs. We believe in backing managers.

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"And we believe in working with them and giving them time. If you see what is happening inside a club on a daily basis and you think the right things are happening, then you continue to support them and that is what we're doing. That's not to say we are very disappointed when we lose; of course we are. But, I keep saying to people that the trouble with football is getting very high when you do well and very low when you don't.

"You've got to actually smooth it out and be objective. Therefore, we thought that if we came out and made a public statement, to say to everybody 'look, give us all a chance - we are working together, for the good of the club and all have the same aspiration and ambition' - it would take some of the pressure off. Whether it has or not, time will tell. We told him that morning we were going to, because we addressed the players.

"We told the players first and then we made a public statement. We talked to the players about the statement we were making, the day after the Swansea game. I think it is important for the players. The reality is that whenever there is external pressure on a football club - whether it be for results or whatever else - it can get to employees at all levels in the business.

"I think, sometimes, what you have to is say: 'Look, let's just stop for a second - we believe in what we are doing and we are all in this together. We are backing everybody in the football club, to take us in the right direction'. And then sometimes they go 'right, now we know we will get on and do it' and of course, two days later we beat Leeds United."

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