Thursday, April 25, 2024

Ryan Lowe delighted with clinical Preston display to win Rotherham ‘banana skin’

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Mar 2024

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Preston boss Ryan Lowe was delighted to avoid a potential banana skin after a comfortable 3-0 home win over a Rotherham side whose Championship status is hanging by a thread.

North End remain five points behind sixth-placed Norwich in the table, but they have lost just one of their last 10 to keep their play-off hopes alive.

Rock-bottom Rotherham, meanwhile, are now 19 points from safety with only seven matches left, having still not won a match in 2024 and not won at all on their travels this season.

Goals from Duane Holmes and two from Emil Riis just before half-time sealed all three points for Preston, with Lowe pleased at his team’s ability to get the job done.

Lowe, whose side go to struggling Birmingham on Monday, said: “A clean sheet and three points, nobody can ask for anything more than that I don’t think.

“Overall I thought the performance was fantastic.

“At this time it’s just about winning games of football, and we did that comfortably.

“I said to the players before the game that this one had to be about attitude and application, against a team who haven’t really got anything to play for.

“It could have been a potential banana skin, but to be fair to the group, it definitely didn’t turn out like that.

“We were on the front foot pretty much throughout the game, we produced some good passages of play and we scored some good goals.

“I’m pleased with the result and the performance, and so we move on to Easter Monday now and see what that brings.

“It’s all about staying positive, given the position we’re in.”

After a rather pedestrian start at Deepdale, the hosts created the first opportunity when Andrew Hughes pounced on a loose ball in the Millers box, only for his effort to be blocked by keeper Viktor Johansson.

Holmes then celebrated his return to the starting line-up by opening the scoring in the 22nd minute, darting in to coolly convert a cross from Robbie Brady.

With half-time approaching, Preston deservedly doubled their advantage when Riis took a touch from Mads Frokjaer’s cross before slotting past Johansson.

Five minutes later he struck again from close range to make it 3-0.

With the game wrapped up by half-time, the second half was a much quieter affair, with Preston looking the more likely team to score.

Rotherham could now be mathematically relegated on Easter Monday, when they host Millwall, but manager Leam Richardson wants the team to keep battling.

He said: “We know what moment we’re in here, and this club is massively in transition, I think we can all see that.

“But that’s not really what the fans want to hear – I feel for all of our fans right now.

“We’ve all got to represent ourselves and this club much better than we have been doing.

“If you’re not bang at it in this division, if you’re not at 100 per cent all the time, you know you’re going to be in for a tough ride.

“That’s what’s happened here again.

“It’s about me trying to get some confidence into the players and trying my best to give the team some kind of identity. Maybe then we can get better results.

“We certainly don’t want to be going out of this division with a whimper.

“I want everyone to stick together and show a bit more belief and confidence in these final few remaining games of the season.”

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