Preston North End won their first game under new boss Ryan Lowe on Saturday – but Sunderland boss Lee Johnson has made a strange jibe at his move.
Preston beat Barnsley 2-1 at Deepdale as Alan Browne and Daniel Johnson were on the scoresheet.
The win was Lowe’s first at Preston since taking the job on Tuesday afternoon when he left Plymouth Argyle.
Plymouth have replaced Lowe with his assistant Steven Schumacher, who now lands his first managerial job.
After a midweek draw at MK Dons, Plymouth lost 2-1 at Sunderland on Saturday.
Sunderland boss Johnson has now reacted to the result and Lowe’s move to Preston with something of a dig.
MORE PRESTON STORIES
As quoted by the Plymouth Herald, Johnson suggested that Lowe may be a good man-manager, but Schumacher was the brains behind coaching at Plymouth.
Johnson even cast doubt over Lowe moving to Preston for better things, putting that idea in ‘inverted commas’.
“Ryan Lowe is also a good coach and a good manager but I think Schuey took on a lot of that training ground stuff, which allowed Ryan to be that sort of man-manager,” said Johnson. “So he has earned, in my eyes, his stripes. In that coaching fraternity sometimes people get chances undeserved and this certainly isn’t one of those moments.”
“He has moved his family down, they have committed to the area, he has been an outstanding servant. The manager has moved on to, inverted commas, perceived better things, the assistant manager has stepped in and fully deserves his chance. You can see the players are playing for him and they will do for a long time. I’m really happy for him,” he added.
Yes, Plymouth are faring well this season and Preston have been struggling.
But the notion that Plymouth to Preston isn’t a worthwhile step up seems bizarre to us.
The last time Plymouth finished above Preston was in 2008. Even when North End were in League One from 2011 to 2015, Argyle were in League Two.
We have so much time for what Plymouth have done; their fans are incredible, they have bounced back from a dire situation at the end of their Championship days and seem to have real momentum behind them.
But Preston are an established Championship club, something Argyle haven’t been for a while – that’s just a fact, no shade intended.
We would love to see Argyle join North End in the Championship next season, but you can hardly blame Lowe for taking the Championship football now, alongside a move back to the North West.