Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe’s weighing up options for Cardiff cup clash

Ryan Lowe admits he faces a tough balancing act picking the Preston North End side to face Cardiff City on Sunday in the FA Cup.

By Dave Seddon
Friday, 7th January 2022, 8:00 am

Lowe has to bear in mind that he’s won his first two games in charge with a core of players and sticking with them would hopefully gather more momentum.

There are others yet to get their chance who the North End boss would like to run the rule over, the visit to South Wales an opportunity to do that.

Giving one or two players a breather after the recent Covid outbreak is also a consideration.

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Preston North End striker Ched Evans

Whatever side he picks, Lowe is targeting a place in the hat for the fourth round.

Lowe told the Lancashire Post: “It is about finding that balance and getting it right.

“I’ve told the group that they get the chance to shine every day. You can’t just take a day off in training because I’m watching them like a hawk.

“I’m looking to see what their attitude is like when they give the ball away, how they go about it.

“They are all good footballers, they can play a brand of football, they can all pass it 10-15-20-40 yards and they can all score goals in certain ways.

“I want to see their attitude and application and to be fair they have been different class right the way through from when I came in.

“So that is the hardest thing for me when it comes to picking the team.

“Do I want to build some momentum? Of course I do.

“Do I want to give a chance to some of the lads who haven’t played as much? Could one or two do with a rest?

“Covid hit us quite hard and as I said earlier in the week, a few who’d had it and recovered went and play 90-95 minutes against Stoke.

“We have to be mindful of that and we’ve got lads who are champing at the bit to showcase themselves.”

It will be interesting to see if Lowe juggles the strikeforce on Sunday.

Emil Riis and Sean Maguire teamed up against Barnsley in Lowe’s first game in charge.

At Stoke he went for the physical presence of Ched Evans next to Riis.

There is also Scott Sinclair as an option up front, with him having come on as substitute in both of Lowe’s games.

Further back, Ryan Ledson and Ali McCann will be pushing for an inclusion.

Teams can name nine substitutes and use five which gives Lowe scope in terms of using his squad.

Sunday’s tie (2pm) is behind closed doors due to restrictions imposed by the Welsh Government to curb the spread of Covid.

It’s being televised live on Welsh language channel S4C and on BBC Wales via the red button.