Ryan Lowe shows Preston North End players he has a kind heart on Valentine’s Day

Big-hearted Ryan Lowe has given the Preston North End squad time off on Valentine’s Day as their hectic schedule pauses for a short time.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 14th February 2022, 8:00 am

In the wake of Saturday’s 1-0 win at Peterborough, Lowe gave the players yesterday and today off to take a break.

Since January 15 they have played nine games in 29 days, picking up 14 points.

PNE have moved to within four points off the top six in that time.

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Preston North End striker Cameron Archer celebrates his goal with skipper Alan Browne and Ched Evans at Peterborough

They have no midweek game, their next slice of action being Reading’s visit to Deepdale this Saturday,

North End boss Lowe said: “The lads have gone through the mill of late, played Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Wednesday or whatever it has been.

“The games have clocked up and we wanted that belief, desire and never-say-die attitude from them to get results – they’ve worked their socks off.

“We’ve got a clear midweek so the lads have got an extra day off – I hope all the wives and girlfriends are happy because they’ve Valentine’s Day off, which is nice!

“It’s a bit of extra time for them to recover and then we will come back in and start to prepare for Reading.

“There’s been a lot of travelling, lots of games, the training has been intense.

“On Friday before we went to Peterborough we toned it down because we’d only played on Wednesday night.”

Cameron Archer was PNE’s match winner for a second Saturday running, the Aston Villa loanee’s 80th-minute goal settling the London Road clash in their favour.

It was a rare moment of quality in a game which was played in difficult conditions and won’t be remembered for too long.

Said Lowe: “There were a few harsh words said during half-time. What were we waiting for, why are we waiting for something to happen?

“We’ve got good footballers in our team but it didn’t really happen for us.

“It was windy, the pitch wasn’t great, we were trying to force the ball into tight areas when I was telling them to go out wide.

“Thankfully Cam produced that moment of brilliance.

“You see a goalscorer and know a goalscorer, that is what Cam is.

“He knows he can do better in certain areas but he is a goal threat all the time.

“Saturday’s wasn’t the time for great football because the conditions were horrendous for both team.

“It was always going to need something a bit special I felt and Cam delivered that.”

PNE will check on Patrick Bauer’s fitness this week, with the centre-half twice going down and needing treatment on his right knee – the second time after all the substitutes had been used.