Ryan Lowe finds lots to admire in Preston’s away point at Sunderland

Huddersfield Town v Preston North End – Carabao Cup – First Round – John Smith’s Stadium
(Image credit: Richard Sellers)

Preston manager Ryan Lowe admitted it was “nearly the perfect away performance” after his side were held to a goalless draw against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Both sides had good chances throughout the game; in particular Ben Whiteman had a shot cleared off the line for the Lilywhites before Ched Evans’ second-half strike was well saved by Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson.

The result sees Preston take a point back home to Deepdale and Lowe admitted he was pleased with his team’s performance.

He said: “I’m not frustrated in terms of performance, we’re frustrated we need to get goals of course, but we can’t let that manifest. I said to the group we need to keep believing, keep doing the right things.

“Overall pleased, we’ve got into good areas, we’ve had one cleared off the line, a potential error, Ched had one saved by the keeper so the chances are there, I think we had eight today and five were on target.

“So overall pleased with the performance, nearly the perfect away performance if we’d got three points.”

Sunderland also had their share of the chances, with Patrick Roberts coming close with a curling effort towards the top corner and a good run down the right nearly found the bottom corner.

Elliot Embleton also had an effort saved, while Freddie Woodman denied substitute Jewison Bennette and Black Cats boss Tony Mowbray admitted his side had plenty of “good chances” throughout the game.

He said: “[Preston] carry a threat, they’re a good team, they’ve won 1-0 a couple of times this season away, you can see why, they’re hard-working, organised, carry a threat, they have huge physicality in their team.

“It was a good clean sheet, just disappointed we couldn’t find a way to finish it off.

“We had lots of good opportunities without them turning into great goalscoring chances, good opportunities that the right pass or the right run would’ve created a goal.”

Sunderland are playing without a recognised striker as Ross Stewart and Ellis Simms are both sidelined with injury, but Mowbray insisted the team can find other ways to score goals.

“We have to accept we aren’t going to play with a striker for a while, we have to find ways,” he added.

“We did find ways away from home when the opposition have to come at us, and attack and leave some spaces and we’ve got the football as you can exploit those spaces.

“Today they didn’t really have to come and attack, they didn’t really have to push their wing-backs on, yet they did at times.

“They’re a pretty well organised team, they’ve got some huge physical attributes in that team, I thought we saw them off really well today and yet we couldn’t find the answer score a goal, yet we did have some pretty good chances.

“We will find a way to score goals, we will find a way to win games, there are football matches where you don’t score, every team goes through a spell, that’s one game.

“We scored five in the last two away games, I don’t see it being an issue at all.

“I think there’s plenty in this team who can score goals and plenty of players who come off the bench and can score goals as well.”

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