Ryan Lowe praises Preston North End's last-ditch efforts after Blackburn Rovers draw and makes promise for rest of season

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Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe praised the last-ditch efforts of his side as they scored a last minute equaliser in their 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers at Deepdale on Saturday.
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PNE 1-1 Blackburn Rovers – Last minute equaliser keeps play-off dream alive

Liam Delap’s cross was deflected into the Rovers net by Dominic Hyam in the fifth minute of stoppage time to give the Lilywhites a point after Sammie Szmodics had given the visitors the lead with less than 10 minutes to go.

There was over 20,000 in attendance at Deepdale in a pulsating clash with both sides chasing the top six. Lowe praised the effort of his charges who would not give up on the game.

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Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe tries to gee up the fans as he leaves the field at half timePreston North End manager Ryan Lowe tries to gee up the fans as he leaves the field at half time
Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe tries to gee up the fans as he leaves the field at half time

He said: “I thought it was two local rivals fighting it out to get three points to sustain a play-off push. I thought the first half we edged it quite a bit and could have gone in a goal up if we'd have got our shots away a little bit earlier or with a little more quality in the final third. They make a change at half time and bring two quality players on and it disrupts us a little bit.

"We felt if we could have got the ball forward a little bit more and sustained more attacks we would get more opportunities. Low and behold they break up, they slide one down the sides for Szmodics, he cuts inside - we wanted to keep him on the outside - and it's a great finish.

"What I will say is that I think the character of the lads have shown on numerous occasions for me since I've been through the door, I know it's been a long time, 17, 18 months nearly. But every time they give it us, and they're not just doing it for me, they're doing it for the football club.

"Credit where credit is due for them, they keep finding it, they keep going until the end and that's what I'm really pleased about.”

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Lowe was proud of his players after a quick turnaround from the midweek defeat to Swansea City.

He promised that his side will keep fighting for a play-off place, with results needing to go their way, as they go into their final two games of the season against Sheffield United and Sunderland.

He said: “We've got back from Swansea late on Wednesday night and we were in early on Thursday to recover. We've hardly done any training with them for a local derby like this. For them to keep going until the end, to get that equaliser which feels to us like three points rather than one, credit where it's due to the players.

"There are some tired legs, I had to make some changes because of that, they're bruised, there are some bumps, they will have a couple of extra days because of that. We will go again.

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"I can't thank the players enough, or my staff. If you'd have said with two games to go you've got an opportunity to get into the play-offs, we'd have bitten your hand off or it.

"We've got two massive games against two good teams but we'll see where it takes us and we'll fight until the end.”