Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe not just content with progress after emotional moment with travelling fans

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Manager Ryan Lowe says he’s not just content with progress at Preston North End after an emotional moment with the travelling support at Sheffield United at the weekend.

North End were beaten 4-1 by the already promoted Blades, ending their chances of finishing the top six for another season.

Their manager didn’t hold back post match, questioning his players’ mentality, looking for reassurances about the club’s ambition and casting doubt over his future at PR1 if he doesn’t get it.

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Preston were backed by just under 2,000 travelling fans at Bramall Lane and Lowe acknowledged them after the game, admitting he got emotional as he thanked them for their support at the end of another season of mid table obscurity.

Preston North End manager Ryan LowePreston North End manager Ryan Lowe
Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe

"I'm gutted for them, I was showing emotion because they were singing my name and it's hard,” he said. “We've been criticised and I've been criticised, rightly or wrongly, but I'm trying my hardest to take it where it needs to get to.

"Sometimes, my hardest might not be good enough unfortunately because of what we have. The fact of the matter is I'm trying and you've seen the progress. Wherever we finish, we finished 11 points outside the play-offs last season, I don't know whether it'll be five, six or seven this season. It's progress but I don't want progress, I want to be fighting for the play-offs every single year and getting out of the division. That's what I want to do.”

PNE were without a handful of first team players for the game, with another name added to the injury list in the form of Ben Whiteman.

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He joins Emil Riis, Greg Cunningham, Ched Evans, Alan Browne and Robbie Brady in the treatment room, with Bambo Diaby out through suspension.

“It's something to do with his groin,” Lowe said on Whiteman. “He's struggling last week with it. He came out to train on Friday and it was no good and he had to go back in. I don't know how long it's going to be, he can barely walk.

"It's another kick in the teeth a little bit. It is what it is, I don't look for excuses, we have other players who can step in and do a job and we have to go with what we've got.”