Ryan Lowe believes Preston North End ‘leader’ has gone to another level this season

The PNE captain has been putting in consistent performances for the Lilywhites this season
Preston North End’s Alan BrownePreston North End’s Alan Browne
Preston North End’s Alan Browne

Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe believes club captain Alan Browne has kicked on this season and is showing greater leadership qualities on and off the pitch.

The Irishman has started every Championship game for the Lilywhites, with this his 11th campaign at Deepdale and third under the management of Lowe. North End have started the season superbly, with six wins and two draws having them third in the table - as the only unbeaten side in the league.

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With the striking department thin on numbers due to injuries, Browne has been operating in one of two advanced midfield roles in behind the lone centre-forward - which has been Will Keane and Milutin Osmajic so far. Lowe has seen an added edge to his skipper in the first eight matches and felt he was instrumental in the recent comeback win over Birmingham City.

“Well Alan Browne is always highly regarded as a top quality player in the Championship for Preston North End, as everyone knows,” said Lowe. “Is he taking it to the next level? Yeah. Is he doing the things we’re asking him to do? Yeah. He’s challenging us at times and wants to really know why he is in those positions, and why we’re setting the press stats out for him to jump. That is brilliant for me, Marshy and Peter - knowing what he wants us to do and (him knowing) what we want him to do.

“And collectively, we come up with the ideas. But, off-the-pitch as well I’ve seen a real leader in him. I think you get to that stage of his career where - I think think he was a young captain wasn’t he? He was captain, probably because he had been here the longest and was one of the better players. But, he’s really buying in to what we want him to do. His leadership skills have got better and to coincide with that, his quality on the pitch has got better.

“So yeah, the credit goes to Browney because he’s pulling the shirt on and pulling the strings when he needs to. He was disappointed coming off at half-time (vs Plymouth) but we said to him that he looked tired and had been away playing Holland and France. These things happen and then he showed his true performance - and what he can do (vs Birmingham). He is tough to figure out, let me tell you.

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“But, one thing I will say about him is that he cares and shows the passion. That is massive. I think all of our lads do, as much as they possibly can. But in Browney, he is different. He wants to win every game; he doesn’t want to lose. I though this qualities at half-time (vs Birmingham) were different class, as a captain and a leader. He might not know that, but we do and we recognise it.”

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