Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe has faith in his formation as he targets an upturn in fortune at Barnsley

Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe says he will stick with his ‘proven’ formation going into next season and recruit players who are comfortable in it.

By Dave Seddon
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 8:00 am

Lowe has played a 3-5-2 system since taking the Deepdale job last December but in the second-half of Monday night’s 4-1 home defeat to Blackburn, changed to a diamond-shaped midfield in a 4-4-2.

Occasionally when chasing a game he has switched to a back four, without much joy, so he has a clear idea on how he wants North End top operate.

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Preston North End players come together with a group huddle before the Blackburn game at Deepdale

"We have a decent enough squad but we are imbalanced in some areas, we know that,” said Lowe as he reflected on only a second Deepdale defeat of his reign.

"We’re playing some people out of position but those people playing out of position have been okay for us.

"As from now and going into next season, we have to demand that formation and that system because I know works and that has been proven.

"If the lads can’t do that formation or play in that formation, then things will have to change.

Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe after the defeat to Blackburn

"At this moment in time I have to find the players who I feel are willing to get on the ball, pass faster, pas through the thirds and pass through the lines.

"We didn’t do any of that against Blackburn so I have to make sure we get back on the training field and have a good build-up to the Barnsley game on Saturday.”

Lowe admitted it was Blackburn’s third goal which tempted him to change system at the interval, taking off Greg Cunningham and putting on Sean Maguire.

Within seven minutes of the re-start, Rovers made it 4-1 to kill the game.

Lowe said: “Maybe we wouldn’t have changed had it been 2-1 at half-time with just a goal in it.

"We’d had some good possession but it’s what you do at the end of that. It’s okay making 300-400 passes a game but it is where you make those passes, we need more at the top end of the pitch and to be clinical.

"To concede the third goal the way we did was frustrating, we knew where the ball was going but didn’t deal with it. We got blocked in and it was a looping header right over the keeper.”