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Ryan Lowe salutes Preston fightback after late win at Stoke

Stoke City v Preston North End – Sky Bet Championship – bet365 Stadium
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Ryan Lowe praised his Preston side for recovering from conceding a “worldie” goal by fighting back to seal a 2-1 win at Stoke.

Brad Potts’ fine equaliser and Andrew Hughes’ 84th-minute header made it two wins out of two for new boss Lowe.

Ben Wilmot’s first Stoke goal just after the interval was a goal of the season contender, but Michael O’Neill’s side fell to a second home defeat in five days, much to the frustration of their fans.

Lowe said: “We could have scored early doors, I thought we might have had a penalty too, so when they score a worldie strike, you think, ‘Is that justice? Is that going to seal the game?’.

“Sometimes you can’t do anything about a worldie strike. Marshy (first team coach Mike Marsh) had the boy at Swansea.

“Apparently, he used to practise that every day and never hit the target once. All of a sudden he hits one into the top stanchion.”

Preston had three games postponed due to Covid-19 after Lowe’s opening game in charge against Barnsley on December 11.

“They have had a tough time being off with the Covid situation,” said the former Plymouth and Bury manager.

“So fair play to them, they stuck by what we have asked them to do during the time.

“The training ground has been shut, but we got four days of work into them and it paid off.

“We scored two fantastic, well-worked goals. It was a great strike from Pottsy, a great volley – Di Canio-esque if you like.

“I said at half-time with a little more belief and if you step it up another 10-15 percent the game is there for you to go and win.”

Stoke boss O’Neill questioned his side’s mental resolve after another frustrating home performance.

“We got punished and lost the game against Derby for giving the ball away in a bad area,” he said. “And today we got punished off a set piece.

“We had a much younger team at the start of the season, but we had a very experienced line-up for this game.

“We would have hoped that would have held us together at times, particularly when they equalised.

“But we stopped playing at 1-1. That’s a mentality situation so we must continue to work with players to make sure we avoid this happening again.

“In the first half, there were a lot of positive things in the performance, but the final ball was poor.

“We go ahead just after half-time with a great goal and we could possibly have added a second with two or three good blocks in the box.

“Then we lose a poor goal, the game got stretched and we looked a bit leggy. And we lose the game off a corner which we should have defended better.”

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