'We are 60% there': Preston North End boss Ryan Lowe's assessment after the draw with Birmingham City

Ryan Lowe was left to rue Preston North End not being able to finish off Birmingham City in their clash at Deepdale.

By Dave Seddon
Saturday, 15th January 2022, 6:18 pm

PNE went in front just past the half hour when Patrick Bauer touched home Alan Browne's shot.

They were five minutes away from that goal delivering three points when substitute Scott Hogan headed the Blues level.

Assessing the 1-1 draw, Lowe said: "I thought we were okay in the first half, we got into some good positions but didn't have that killer instinct and killer pass at the top end of the pitch.

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Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe returns the ball on to the pitch during the 1-1 draw with Birmingham at Deepdale

"The second half was what we expected, they were going to play more balls in behind. We then dropped a little bit deeper and forced them to go longer.

"At 1-0 we should have seen the game off, potentially have scored a couple more goals which gets us the three points.

"In the Championship if you can't see a side off, you have to make sure you don't concede. We conceded a sloppy goal, a good one on their behalf but a sloppy one for us because we slunk a bit too deep.

"There were loads of positives, it is still seven points out of nine which we would have taken but really we wanted nine out of nine.

"There was a lot of good stuff and a lot of stuff to be worked on, we are 60% to where I want us to be on a Saturday afternoon or a Tuesday evening.

"We have been excellent in the sessions leading up to the games and we have to take that into the games."

North End had the chances and worked themselves into positions to get a second goal as the game opened up in the second half.

But those weren't taken and Hogan's 85th minute header was a sucker punch.

Lowe said: "If we had got the second goal it would have been done, we could have seen it out, slowed the game down, it would have been on our terms.

"We didn't quite manage to have that little bit of quality at the top end of the pitch to see it through, not for the lack of trying.

"It was that weight of pass, that trust pass, that 'go on then, I'm going to set you up for my mate to put it in the back of the net.

"We had some fantastic opportunities to do that but it wasn't quite the case today.

"I'm still pleased with the lads, pleased with the effort and commitment we showed on and off the pitch. They worked their socks off with the counter press and regaining the ball when they lost it. But I am saying don't give the ball away as much so that you have to do that."

Lowe admitted he wasn't sure at the time who had got the North End goal, skipper Browne having a shot from outside the box which Bauer diverted in.

"I didn't know who had scored, I didn't really care - I was just glad to see it go in," said Lowe.

"Someone said that Patrick got a toe on it and that is what you want, bodies in the box for those touches and flicks.

"Birmingham are a fighting team, they aren't going to lay down and roll over. They made a couple of changes which impacted the game.

"We didn't have calm regains on the ball, we were slicing things away, maybe that was down to nerves. It's something to take out of the game and learn from."

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