Exclusive Sean Gregan column

Scott Laird, John Welsh and Andy Little head for the tunnel after Preston's 1-1 draw at Barnsley
Scott Laird, John Welsh and Andy Little head for the tunnel after Preston's 1-1 draw at Barnsley
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I think Preston’s draw at Barnsley was a decent result, coming against a side who have been in great form under Lee Johnson.

PNE and Barnsley are the two most in-form sides in League One so perhaps a point apiece was the most likely outcome.

You are not going to win every game in a promotion push – you need to win a lot of them but a draw here and there is not a problem.

At the moment automatic promotion is in their own hands and hopefully it can stay that way right the way through until the end of the season.

Simon Grayson will be urging his players to concentrate on themselves rather than the teams just behind them.

But every team, from the Premier League down to the league where Darlington are, can never resist a peek at the other results.

When you are in a battle at either end of a table, the first question you ask back in the dressing room after a game is how such-and-such a team did.

The phones come out and you have a scroll down the results in your division.

If you have won, it is a good feeling to see how others have gone on. When you drop points though, you get a bit more of an anxious feeling as you start looking at other scores.

I will go all cliché on you here but it needs to be one game at a time for North End, chalk them off week by week.

It was par for the course to see Joe Garner hitting the back of the net again. Ronaldo, Messi, Garner...it rolls of the tongue doesn’t it!

The lad seems to be on a roll after his four against Crewe last week – six in the last four games is some going.

For me, North End have hit form at the right time.

Last season, Leyton Orient had that fantastic start when they won 10 of their first 11 games or something similar, yet finished in the play-offs.

Putting an unbeaten run together at this stage of the campaign means you have the momentum and energy at such a crucial stage of the season.

Next for Preston is the Sunday afternoon visit to Fleetwood Town.

I had a spell on loan with the Cod Army when I found myself out of the frame at Oldham Athletic.

They were in the Conference then but you could see they were destined to get to the Football League by the way they had moved up through the divisions.

Fleetwood have done well in League One this season and you would not rule them out of the play-off race.

If that does not happen this season, I would be confident of them pushing on and doing so next year.

Graham Alexander is in charge there, with him having a host of former North End players on his staff.

Steering away from Preston, the last couple of weeks have not been good for English clubs in Europe, with Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City going out of the Champions League

I would not say it is a crisis in English football, more that success seems to move in circles – wasn’t there an English team in the final, four or five years running?

Football evolves, clubs from Italy, Germany, Spain and England have all had successful spells.

Better game management by Arsenal against Monaco in the first leg, and had Chelsea not sat back on a lead, and it might have been a different story. But who am I to tell Wenger and Mourinho how to do their jobs!