Ryan Lowe sets Preston points target ahead of international break

Posted Sunday, March 12, 2023 by PA

Ryan Lowe sets Preston points target ahead of international break

Ryan Lowe says Preston will consider their play-off chances during the international break after his side ran out 2-0 winners over struggling Cardiff at Deepdale.

Tom Cannon and Ched Evans scored in the second half of a tight game in which Cardiff goalkeeper Jak Alnwick was sent off, just a week after first-choice custodian Ryan Allsop was dismissed against Bristol City.

The victory leaves the Lilywhites seven points off the play-offs and unbeaten in six games, with Freddie Woodman picking up his 16th clean sheet, while Cardiff remain six points above the bottom three.

Lowe said: “I just want to win as many games as we possibly can and see where it takes us. We’ve got a small target of points that we’d like to get to before the international break.

“If we feel there’s a right challenge we can go and do, then we’ll sit down and we’ll all agree on something that we might be able to do. But I’m not getting carried away with it.

“What’s most pleasing for me is to win two back-to-back home games at Deepdale, which we haven’t done for a while.

“The attitude and the application in training the lads give us on a daily basis is fantastic.

“In the defensive unit, there’s a couple in there who were written off at Preston North End before we came, and it just shows the belief that you have in the players. A top goalkeeper helps as well. The defensive unit has been different class.”

Chances were at a premium in a first half which saw Cardiff’s Kion Etete flash a strike just wide but North End finished on top with a flurry of chances for Troy Parrott, Alvaro Fernandez, and Bambo Diaby.

Cannon finally found the net 67 minutes in, latching on to an excellent Greg Cunningham pass and blasting past Alnwick.

Alnwick was sent off for a reckless challenge on Cannon in added time and Ched Evans poked home the second from the rebound of Ben Whiteman’s resulting free-kick to seal the points.

Cardiff boss Sabri Lamouchi lamented the silly mistakes that cost his side, with the loss puncturing their run of three wins in four games.

He called the stoppage-time dismissals of goalkeepers Allsop and Alnwick in consecutive games “unbelievable” but refused to put blame on Alnwick’s shoulders.

He said: “We lost our mind and made stupid mistakes. Unfortunately, if you are not absolutely concentrating, you get punished in the Championship.

“We made a few mistakes in the second half but didn’t make these mistakes in the first half.

“We could have avoided putting our goalkeeper in trouble. He’s very disappointed but it’s not his fault. We gave him a very bad ball – how could he play it?

“We need to move on and fortunately we have a game in three days at home again. We need to think about our mistake and focus on the next one. Some people want to look behind, but I want to look forward.

“I’m very disappointed. After the first half, we were in the game. We created chances. It’s not easy to play here but we started well. We need to be more determined, more concentrated, more killer.”




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