sport news Preston boss Ryan Lowe reveals his chance meeting with Antonio Conte's brother trends now
'I was in Antonio Conte's box watching Liverpool win with my boy,' he tells Sportsmail. 'We got invited down, had some food and all that. It was a great experience. His brother was excellent. We spoke about Antonio a little bit.
'Then, lo and behold, we get drawn against them. I know Antonio's agent and have asked him what red wine he drinks. Hopefully he can come in at the end of the game and have a glass. I might have to talk a bit slowly because of my Scouse English.'
Preston boss Ryan Lowe has revealed his chance meeting with Antonio Conte's brother
Lowe was invited to north London as Tottenham hosted Liverpool and spoke with Conte's brother Gianluca (left)
Lowe's invite to north London came two months before his Preston team were pitted against Spurs in an FA Cup fourth-round tie this Saturday that feels rather familiar. North End regularly draw Premier League opposition at home in this competition.
Lowe boasts two promotions on his c.v, taking Bury and Plymouth Argyle out of League Two. Pictures of those triumphs hang in his office, serving as reminders as he happily accepts the challenge of attempting to end Preston's 62-year top-flight exile.
'Let's have it right: Preston shouldn't be anywhere near the play-offs as we speak, with the teams around us,' he says, reeling off the clubs with far larger budgets.
'We're four points off third — that is remarkable for Preston. Should we have won more games and be third now? 100 per cent.'
The start to this season is a factor. Lowe, renowned for expansive football, presided over five goalless draws in Preston's first six matches. They did not score more than once in a game until the 3-2 win against Norwich in October. 'Your paper came to do that game,' he adds.
Preston overcame Huddersfield 3-1 to progress into the fourth round of the FA Cup where they face Spurs
'The idea was because we were 'boring' — and I've got no problem with that. Fair play, afterwards you came out and said: 'Well, they're far from boring'. We're winning more points now, and I'm one of those managers who if we outscore the opposition then I'm fine.'
He is also a manager who has had to contend with more than most. Lowe's first job, at Bury, was in the final months of their existence as we knew it. May 4, 2019 — the date of their promotion party —