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Ryan Lowe on why he switched Plymouth for Preston, his style of play, mission to excite fans, and season ambitions

Preston Manager: Ryan Lowe made an immediate impression
Preston Manager: Ryan Lowe made an immediate impression

There was already a buzz in the Lancashire air after Preston announced they had appointed Ryan Lowe as their new manager on Tuesday afternoon, less than 24 hours after Frankie McAvoy exited Deepdale.

The excitement levels went up another notch following an impressive first interview with the club, during which the passionate former Plymouth boss promised Lilywhites fans an exciting brand of football.

Lowe, 43, made an immediate impression. He spoke with confidence, clarity, and enthusiasm; passing his first test with flying colours. There’s plenty of work to be done as he bids to take the club to the next level, but fans have multiple reasons to be enthused.

Here’s what Lowe had to say on his decision to switch Plymouth for Preston, his achievements, style of play, the players he’s inherited, and where he hopes to finish this season...

Championship Odds

His decision to switch Plymouth for Preston

“It was too big an opportunity to turn down. I’ve had a fantastic two-and-a-half-years down in Plymouth. I went down there without my family, which was tough at times.

“I’d like to think I’ve turned the football club around from on its knees to the levels it’s at now. That’s not just me, it’s the staff and board of directors, and everyone associated.

“We put it back on the map. It’s selling out fast almost every single week. But ultimately when a club like Preston come calling you can’t say no. The minute I sat down with Peter and Craig, it’s a fantastic journey that we all want to go on. It was a no-brainer.”

His achievements at Plymouth

“I’m always proud to win promotions, proud to bring a style of football and an identity.

“Plymouth didn’t have an identity until we turned up there. Now I’ve got to bring that style and identity to Preston, which is my main focus.”

His promise to excite the Preston fans

“The fans can expect that we’ll put a team out there that will be high-energy, that will run round around for the badge. They’ll play an exciting brand of football.

“We want to win games of football, first and foremost. I want to excite these fans with a style and a brand of football and a philosophy that they’ll be proud of. I’ve done this at Plymouth and Bury.

“You get people talking about the style and the philosophy and the brand, that’s what you want, but ultimately it’s about winning games of football.

“I’m excited to see the fans,” he added. “I’ve had a lot on social media already and I’d like to thank them for the welcome already.

“What I will say to them is come out and support your football club and your team. You’ll be proud of this team, you’ll be proud of the football club.

“I know things haven’t gone as smoothly as they’d like over the past six or seven months, but what we’re here to do is make these fans happy and proud and they can go home after a game on a Saturday or a Tuesday and say 'I enjoyed that'.

“Ultimately it’s about winning, but we’d like to see their support there definitely on Saturday afternoon at Deepdale.”

On what he can achieve this season

“We can’t get too carried away. I know this club has, over so many years, finished in the top-end of the division and that’s where we want to try and get to.

“We want to build. We want a positive result on Saturday then continue the journey with the games coming thick and fast.

“Ultimately we want to be in the top-half of the table. I feel we’ve got a squad capable of achieving something.”

Championship: Top-Half Finish

Preston
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The squad he’s inherited at Preston

“I know a lot of the players, I’ve played against a lot of them. There’s some quality in there.

“What we’ve got to do is take the shackles off these players. I’ve addressed the players in there before, went round and spoke to them about how we’re going to do it, what we’re going to do.

“They’ll love coming into the training ground, they’ll love working their socks off for Preston North End and that’s going to be the main focus.

“As I said before, we want to excite these fans again. We want to get them back through the turnstiles, we want to bring an exciting brand of football, which we will, and that’s now our focus.

“The players will buy into all that. They were due to be off tomorrow but they’re in, we’ll start our preparation for Barnsley tomorrow afternoon, but the lads bought into it.

“They’re very well respectful of what we’re trying to do. We’ve briefed them briefly and we’ll go through a few plans of how we go about our business tomorrow and we’ll look forward to training the group tomorrow, Thursday and Friday with a build up to an exciting game on Saturday.”

Lowe went on to say: “What the players can expect from me is honesty right the way through, there’s no grey areas, everything’s black and white.

“They’ll all get a chance, there’s a clean slate, whether it be people in the squad or out the squad, they’ve got to now show me on the training pitch what they’re all about to be picked on a Saturday or a Tuesday even.

“What I’ve said to them is make sure when you’ve got that shirt, you keep it. Tactically if I need to change the squad or the team I certainly will, that’s due to whoever we’re playing, but ultimately whoever gets in there first has got to stay in there and keep the shirt.”

Preston Odds

As Lowe said, his ambition is to lead Preston to a top-half finish this season. The club are currently 18th after 21 matches; but just three points off Luton in 12th.

Preston can be backed at 11/10 to finish in the top-half, 20/1 (Bet365) to finish in the top-six - they are currently nine points off the play-off places - and 40/1 to win promotion into the Premier League for the first time!

Meanwhile, Preston can are priced at 43/50 to win Lowe's first game on Saturday at home to Barnsley, who are 23rd in the table with just two wins all season.

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