May 19, 2024

PNE face Leicester City in the Championship on Monday.
Preston North End manager Ryan Lowe thought his trip to watch Leicester City live this week was well worthwhile.

The Foxes defeated fellow promotion contenders Southampton 5-0 at home. Abdul Fatawu scored a hat trick, while Wilfred Ndidi and Jamie Vardy both scored. Lowe was in attendance on Tuesday night, along with his good friend and Stoke City manager, Steven Schumacher. On Monday evening, PNE will play Leicester, who may need a win to secure promotion to the Premier League.

“Yeah, I was jogging my memory all the way home!” Lowe replied when asked if he learned anything from the game. “They’re a good squad. I and the coaching team definitely keep an eye on everything they do, but occasionally I just want to go and look at them. There were several things on and off the ball that I looked into, and perhaps we can take advantage of one or two of them. It was comparable to the meeting in October. Different individuals; I believe they only have £100 million on the bench instead of £70 million! No, these are well-coached, high-quality Premier League players.

“The game versus Southampton the other day was a Premier League fixture. They just happen to be in the Championship right now. I think Southampton had some really strong stretches, and both teams were excellent, even though it was five-nil. Leicester simply blasted them away in the end, and without disrespect, they should be where they are. Enzo (Maresca) has done an excellent job in his first position, teaching them in a manner reminiscent to Manchester City. It is risky, but they have some good players to do it.”


Abdul Fatawu backs Leicester to overcome Watford | LiveScore


If Leeds United lose to Queens Park Rangers on Friday night, Leicester might be ahead of them when they arrive in Lancashire. It’s been a four-horse promotion fight all season, with the Foxes slipping in recent months and giving optimism to Leeds, Ipswich Town, and Southampton. However, Leicester are within touching distance of the prize, and Lowe believes PNE’s motivation must be to gatecrash the celebration.

“We all want parties (for us) on our pitch and one day, hopefully that is the case,” he went on to say. “We cannot compete with Leicester City; no one can. We obviously don’t want anyone holding a party on our pitch. So we have to go to the races, do the correct things, master the fundamentals, and work hard. They are competing to win the league and be promoted. However, we also have some pride and desire to play for. We have to play for our football club and its followers. “We have no control over what will happen with them.”

Lowe continued, “It’s certainly the toughest Championship I’ve seen in a long, long time. You look at the teams, and one of them will not be promoted. Ipswich are unique in that they were promoted from League One. However, a team with a budget of around £80/90 million is likely to stay in the Championship. If you do the arithmetic, the differences between them and teams like ours are vast. So yeah, it’s been a difficult challenge thus far.”

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