Ryan Lowe salutes captain’s contribution in Preston North End win over Coventry City

CameraSport - Dave Howarth
The PNE boss’ take on Saturday’s 3-2 win over Coventry City

Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe was proud to see his team dig in and return to winning ways with Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Coventry City.

An action packed, end-to-end encounter at Deepdale saw PNE pegged back - against the run of play - in the first half as Haji Wright scored a contentious opener. North End hit back instantly through Duane Holmes though and Alan Browne then scored from the penalty spot just a couple of minutes later, to send PNE in at the break ahead.

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Milutin Osmajic powered home a close range header to make it 3-1 in the second half, after North End weathered a spell of Coventry pressure. The Sky Blues did make it interesting late on, when Wright converted on the follow-up once again, but PNE saw the points over the line and Lowe was relieved come the full time whistle.

“I have got loads of faith in the group that they will manage the game as best as they can,” said Lowe. “It was like a basketball match at one point, but they are doing everything we ask and credit to the players. On the sideline, sometimes emotion run high but you have to stay calm and hope the lads take on the instructions - which they did. It is a relief when you get that third goal, but they are never going to lie down.

“They are going to fight and that’s what they did, so we had to show a different side to us again. I’m disappointed with their second goal because it shouldn’t get to that. But I am just pleased for the lads; they’ve been working hard and putting in the performances in, but not getting the results. So, to take three points off a good team in Coventry is pleasing. The lads showed a huge reaction and determination to keep going.

“Decisions are decisions and will happen throughout the Championship, but we’ve just got to make sure ours are the right ones. I know you would love me to burst out with a load of stuff now. I’ve got my own opinions, which will stay with me. Luckily for us, we got the penalty and we scored it. Coventry are a fantastic team and if we wanted to beat them, we had to outrun them. I’d like to think we worked our socks off. It was different formations and getting the crowd up.

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“We were tempted to play a different shape today, with how Coventry are, but I felt we’d go for the formation which has gotten us the results - two tens, one striker but Mads pushing up as a false nine if needed. Duane would come inside with Browney as two eights, so it was a tactical game really and you have to counteract each other. They changed shape second half, so then we had to flip round. When you’re coming up against good teams, you’ve got to make sure you’re ready and our start was well-worthy.”

Club captain Browne opened his account for the season from 12 yards and put in a Man of the Match display. Needless to say, Lowe was full of praise for the skipper’s performance post-match.

“Yeah, fantastic,” said Lowe. “That’s what good captains do. They lead by example. There are times when he wants to do too much, which is just him and I have to pull the reins on him a bit because he’s everywhere. But, that’s what leaders do and that’s what good footballers do. When you wear your heart on your sleeve, then those are the performances you put in.

“He does that on a continual basis. We want that to continue, not just from the captain. Hopefully (the goal) can kick him on. He has been playing in different positions and he’ll be disappointed he’s not got more, but if he keeps performing the way he is then the goals are irrelevant. If he can score and assist then great, but just as long as he keeps performing the way we want him to.”

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