Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe gives QPR warning ahead of meeting with free falling strugglers
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Rangers have won just twice in their last 27 games, one of those being against North End in the reveres fixture, and have seen their fortunes take a drastic turn since topping the table earlier on in the season.
Now on their third manager, after Michael Beale left for Rangers and Neil Critchley managed just one win in his dozen games – at Deepdale – all hopes lie with Gareth Ainsworth to keep them in the division.
PNE boss Lowe however knows that the game on Good Friday, 3pm, will not be easy for his side regardless of QPR’s form or league position.
He said: “It looks easy, doesn't it? But it's definitely not kind, I must say. I know Gareth is having a bit of a tough time with results, I know him personally a little bit and I know what his teams are like having come up against them. They're not going to roll over for anyone. I've seen that he's said it's going to take a couple of wins to get them solid and resolute for next season.
"When they were at the top end it was a bit of a false position, they were overachieving. We're not taking anything for granted, we know it's going to be a tough place, a tight pitch, fans, atmosphere.
"We've just got to go and worry about what we can do and worry about ourselves as much as we can. We've got to pay them the respect and show them respect, definitely. Just because they're fighting for points doesn't mean it's going to be easy and I'll make sure my players know that.”
PNE will be without Ched Evans for the game as the club confirmed on Wednesday that their no.9 will be out for an extended period of time after requiring neck surgery. It’s an injury that risks the rest of his career, with the outcome of the treatment determining his ability to play on.
Lowe used his absence as motivation for his men in last week’s win over Blackpool as more on his injury started to become apparent and he’s hoping that through the disappointment of losing Evans, Preston can find motivation.
Lowe said: “The lads are gutted that they're going to lose him not only for the rest of the season but potentially for pre-season as well.
"He's a big character in the dressing room and the lads all love him and we've said 'right, let's go do this for Ched'. We got Saturday's performance out of them in that way and we'll do it for the next two and see where that takes us.”