Preston North End's Gentry Day visit to Barnsley will be a pointer to next season for Ryan Lowe

Ryan Lowe thinks two Preston North End wins to finish the season would help set a benchmark for the 2022/23 campaign.

By Dave Seddon
Friday, 29th April 2022, 8:00 am

The Lilywhites’ penultimate game of the season comes tomorrow lunchtime at Barnsley (12.30pm) with PNE boss Lowe experiencing his first Gentry Day.

Middlesbrough’s visit to Deepdale the following weekend is the season’s curtain call, Lowe determined to finish on a positive note and see North End hit some targets which he set when he took the job last December.

Lowe said: “When I first came in I asked for more clean sheets, more goals from set plays, a different brand of football, more goals in general and a particular points tally.

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Preston North End striker Emil Riis battles with Blackburn Rovers' Jan Paul van Hecke at Deepdale

"We have achieved some of those objectives although we might still be a point or two short of what I wanted.

"At the moment we are on 58 points, if we win both games we finished on 64 which would probably get us a top-half finish.

"That is a first benchmark. Finishing top half would mean you are only having to push on six or so places next season to be in the play-offs.

"What we have missed this season is real consistency, winning three or four games on the bounce a few times. When you are winning three or four games, it catapults you up the table into a great place.”

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Selection wise, Emil Riis will be itching to start as he tries to hit the 20-goal mark for the season. The Dane is on 18 and returned to action against Blackburn on Monday after a hamstring tweak.

Andrew Hughes is a doubt, having had stitches in a gash on his big toe. That could open the door for former Barnsley defender Liam Lindsay to feature.

Lowe is looking forward to Gentry Day, the first one PNE fans have been able to celebrate live for three years.

"I’ve been reading about Gentry Day and what it means,” said Lowe.

"It’s an occasion to remember those who have passed and it is a great mark of respect for those no longer with us.

"When I was researching it, I found a photo of Sean Maguire wearing a bowler hat at Bolton I think it was – that was great.

"Hopefully we can play well and send the fans home happy.”