'Lo and behold' - What Ryan Lowe said straight after Preston North End's loss to Birmingham City

PNE were beaten 1-0 by Birmingham City at St Andrew's
Ryan Lowe Ryan Lowe
Ryan Lowe

Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe was left to rue mistakes in the Lilywhites 1-0 loss at Birmingham City, on Easter Monday.

Jay Stansfield struck home the 68th minute winner at St Andrew's, after North End centre-back Liam Lindsay had slipped on the half-way line. Preston struggled for meaningful attempts on goal, over the piece, but got into a couple of really dangerous positions during the first half. And those key moments were of frustration to Lowe, in his post-match assessment.

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He said: "Yeah listen, the slip has obviously cost us a point, minimum. We should've had the game out of sight in the first half, with two glorious opportunities to score. I get what the lads tried to do - leave one on a plate for the striker and the Mads for Duano, running on to it. But, just put the ball in the back of the net and then it is a potential game over situation, at two-nil. However way either team was going to win the game, was maybe a mistake, a ricochet or set-piece. Lo and behold, my centre-half - who has been outstanding all season - has slipped at the wrong time.

"If the truth be known, second half we didn't do enough to score a goal. We made changes and changed shape a bit. We brought Liam Millar on, who is not 100 per cent fit, to try and get some goals. We changed the strikers, who looked a bit tired, as well. We did everything we possibly could; decision making and lack of quality has cost us a point, minimum. But, you cannot legislate for a slip and we're disappointed with that. There is no blame, the lads will get their heads up and go again and we just need to do a little bit more.

"Second half, when they scored there were blue bodies everywhere. They are fighting for their lives and they need points. But, we are fighting for our lives to get points, going the other way. We knew it wasn't going to be easy. We shuffled it about, had a couple of half chances and some long throws - just to get the ball in the box. We just didn't do enough to get a goal back in the second half, which is disappointing. The lads have just said the results in there and it is pretty much the same, but it's then a kick in the teeth - because if you'd got a point or three, you are in the right direction and it gets a bit tighter.

"As the lads have said in there, it is one loss - we've got to go back to the drawing board and get back to the training ground, working on game plans. We cannot let our heads drop, there are plenty of points to play for and let's have a right good go at it. We've got a squad of 23/24 and if the youngsters are in there or not, it doesn't really matter. You are going to get injuries, bugs and sickness - I think the Friday, Monday has probably caught up with the group in that. I didn't think we had enough energy in there, as well. Fatigue then kicks in, but we keep going and working."

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PNE were without captain Alan Browne on the day, as he fell sick overnight. That left North End without Browne, Ben Whiteman, Ryan Ledson and Brad Potts and resulted in Noah Mawene making his full debut for Preston. Lowe was disappointed that the 19-year-old couldn't be part of a positive result on the day, but had no complaints with the youngster's performance.

"He was brilliant," said Lowe. "I would've just liked him to come off the pitch with a point, or three, because when you make those debuts they are more memorable when you win - or definitely when you don't lose. I thought he was fantastic. I told him at pre-match breakfast this morning and he was game ready. He said: 'Yeah, no problem' and that was it. I said to do everything you need to do and what you've been doing in games - pass forward and run forward when you can and be solid out of possession.

"I thought he was excellent all over the park and a good debut from him, just without the result. We took him off and went with two eights, just to try and score. We had two fours and a ten and Mads couldn't get on the ball, so we changed it around a little bit. But, he (Mawene) was fantastic - great attitude and his family should be proud and the fans should be proud. He has got a real future ahead of him."

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