Ryan Lowe not dwelling on prospect of Preston play-off push



Posted Wednesday, March 15, 2023 by PA

Ryan Lowe not dwelling on prospect of Preston play-off push

Preston boss Ryan Lowe is playing down his side’s chances of making a late Sky Bet Championship play-off push after a 2-1 win at Rotherham.

North End stretched their unbeaten run to seven games thanks to first-half goals from Tom Cannon and Ched Evans, which cut the gap to sixth-placed Blackburn to just five points.

With nine games to go and plenty of teams above them with an extra game to play it looks an outside bet that they qualify, but they still have something to play for.

Lowe is only concentrating on the short-term, though.

“The focus is the next game, we have got a small points target from now until the Middlesbrough game, we are going about it in a nice way. I’m not going to get too carried away as much as I would love to,” he said.

“This league is crazy, Blackpool won 6-1 tonight, so that’s what the league is.

“I am not going to get too carried away, we are going to try and keep climbing up as much as we can and collecting points and if we feel like we have got any chance after that we will sit down and have a discussion amongst ourselves and see where it takes us.

“We just want to keep working hard and picking up points and see where it takes us.”

Cannon fired Preston ahead midway through the first half against the run of play but Hakeem Odoffin equalised 10 minutes before the break.

Evans’ fine goal on the stroke of half-time proved decisive and the visitors missed plenty of chances to kill the game at the start of the second half.

Lowe added: “It was solid and resolute especially towards the end, fair play to Rotherham they threw everything at it and we withstood the pressure.

“It was a great away performance. More importantly three points but we should have had the game out of sight early in the second half, we had some great chances.

“We had to make sure we were solid and resolute and the back lads were fantastic. We knew it would be a tough place to come, so really pleased.”

Odoffin’s goal was Rotherham’s only shot on target as they never looked like equalising for a second time and they were dragged back into the relegation mix, with Blackpool’s 6-1 win over QPR cutting their cushion to the bottom three to five points.

Boss Matt Taylor knows their fight against the drop will go down to the wire, with his side feeling the after-effects from Saturday’s loss to Birmingham.

“We know that, we expect that, we can’t control elsewhere,” Taylor said. “The only thing I can control is the way the players feel and approach the game and with a day’s turnaround from Saturday maybe I should have sensed something with the personnel.

“We are searching for different ways to get a little bit more happiness in their own bodies before Saturday.

“I am always honest, maybe too honest at times in terms of how I talk. I thought a few were a little bit flat tonight in terms of being scolded from the weekend, were a little bit low on the back of their performance or how the game panned out at the weekend.

“We just weren’t there with the intent to start the game. The goals are a frustrating aspect and shows a little bit of weakness through the spine of the team.

“We were overrun in certain parts. It comes down to quality and execution, something we have been short in for too long I am afraid.”

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