Preston North End v AFC Bournemouth - Sky Bet Championship
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Ryan Lowe heaps praise on Ali McCann despite lack of Preston starts

Preston boss Ryan Lowe has heaped praise on midfielder Ali McCann despite a lack of starts for the Northern Irishman.

North End splashed the cash to sign McCann on deadline day in August, striking a deal that could reach around £2million.

McCann was showing his quality under Frankie McAvoy, proving to be a tenacious and all-action midfielder with quality on the ball.

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It’s been a little tougher under Ryan Lowe though. McCann started his first game in charge of Preston back in December, but he was pressed into a wing back role.

That isn’t really McCann’s game, but he is finding it hard to break into the three-man midfield of Ben Whiteman, Alan Browne and Daniel Johnson.

McCann did produce a lung-busting run against Bristol City, effectively setting up a last-gasp equaliser, and also played superbly in midfield at Hull City.

Yet it still hasn’t been enough for a starting role, with McCann spending most of his time sitting on the Preston bench.

Photo by Rich Linley – CameraSport via Getty Images

McCann fared well as a makeshift left wing back against Bournemouth last weekend and is now earning huge praise from Lowe.

Speaking in his pre-Cardiff City press conference this morning, Lowe couldn’t speak highly enough of McCann.

Lowe praised McCann as ‘fantastic’ against Bournemouth, adding that he is a fantastic person and a fantastic player with a spot-on attitude.

The question remains – how does McCann get into the Preston starting lineup?

We still don’t think McCann should be deployed in either wing back role, with his best work done hassling and harrying midfielders.

It would be nice to see Alan Browne at wing back and McCann in midfield, but Lowe has yet to experiment with that.

As it stands, McCann is a rather expensive substitute for Preston but a player we all know can make a huge impact whenever given the chance.

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