Ryan Lowe: Preston North End boss says Norwich City clash ‘might be biggest’ game of his reign

Ryan Lowe: Preston North End boss says Norwich City clash ‘might be biggest’ game of his reign

10 April 2024 0 By Total Football News
Preston North End's Milutin Osmajic scores his team's fourth goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Preston North End and Huddersfield Town at Deepdale on April 9, 2024 in Preston, England
Milutin Osmajic completes the late hat-trick against Huddersfield that sets up Preston for a big finish to the season

Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe says Saturday’s clash with Norwich City “might be the biggest” game of his two-and-a-half seasons in charge.

The win takes the Lancashire club to within five points of the sixth-placed Canaries, with a game in hand.

“We’re going to give it everything because it’s a needs-must,” Lowe told BBC Radio Lancashire.

“Norwich are a fantastic team, well-coached with unbelievable players and have had a bit of a kick in the teeth by conceding late to draw [at Sheffield Wednesday] but we have to make sure it’s about what we do on Saturday.

“If we do manage to get three points, with a game in hand, who knows? We’ve just got to keep going.

“It’s massively important, I’m not going to play it down. It might be the biggest one so far, but it’s out of our hands really in terms of what other teams have got points-wise but I just want to stay in the mix and hopefully people are looking down on us and things can change.”

Preston were helped by Norwich losing a two-goal lead at Sheffield Wednesday, while fellow contenders Coventry lost at Southampton.

Lowe was keen to point out how Preston have already ensured progress from last season, having equalled last season’s points total.

“That’s 11 wins at Deepdale, and 63 points with five games to go,” he said.

“It is [a total] which we were on at the end of last season – a lot of progression and that’s what we want.

“Can we win all five? There’s definitely some 60-40 games against us in there but there are also some 50-50s.”

Lowe also praised Montenegro international Milutin Osmajic for his hat-trick inside seven minutes against Huddersfield, a remarkable feat that came just eight minutes after he went on as a substitute.

“Milly’s been champing at the bit. He was fantastic on Saturday [against Watford] and we’ve asked him to stay behind a little bit more,” Lowe added.

“We’ve been working on his calmness because he’s a bit of a banger, he smashes everything dead hard, and we’re trying to work with him to have a little bit more finesse.

“It’s been tough for him at times because he came in, started well, scored a few goals and came in and out of the team, but he trains like a true warrior every day to get into the team and perform to the levels.

“I spoke to him to let him know he wasn’t in the team and he would have an impact coming off the bench, and he has certainly done that, so credit where credit is due.”

This article was originally posted on https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/68778169