Grayson hails Gallagher’s return to PNE side

Paul Gallagher was PNE's star man against Huddersfield.
Paul Gallagher was PNE's star man against Huddersfield.
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Simon Grayson hailed star man Paul Gallagher as Preston North End kept up their fine run with a big win over Huddersfield Town.

North End’s midfield ace laid on the first two goals with pinpoint crosses for defenders Tom Clarke and Alex Baptiste before getting on the scoresheet himself in the 3-1 win at Deepdale last night.

It was a fine return to the side for the 32-year-old who has had to work his way back into the starting XI after picking up an injury at the end of September against Wigan.

Grayson said: “Maybe me leaving him out for a couple of games has, not given him a kick up the backside, but just given him a reminder that no-one’s guaranteed a place in the team if others are doing well.

“He affected the game at the weekend when he came on and I picked him tonight and he did ever so well.

“A lot of the players who have gone out tonight will have earned the right from their perspective to keep the shirt at the weekend.

“Gally on his day is as good as anyone in this division when it comes to delivery.”

Gallagher, who also sent in the ball for Simon Makienok’s late leveller at Brighton on Saturday, was one of four changes to the side with Bailey Wright, Greg Cunningham and Ben Pringle also returning in a 4-4-2 system.

Paul Huntington, Tommy Spurr, Chris Humphrey and the injured John Welsh were the ones to drop out from the Albion draw.

Grayson said: “We’ve got a really honest group who just keep working.

“I spoke to Paul Huntington who played really at the weekend and told him yesterday that he wasn’t playing because they’ve got small strikers and we needed to be more mobile.

“He accepted it and that’s how it is.

“It’s brilliant from their point and view and it’s just pleasing how things are going.”

It was a win that kept up Preston’s fine recent form, Grayson’s side now unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions.

The run of results is all the more impressive considering the clash with Huddersfield was the second of a sequence of games against the Championship’s top four with a visit to Norwich next up on Saturday.

The PNE boss said: “I’m really pleased with what we’ve done against a tough team who were looking to bounce back from the weekend.

“It’s only another three points but they’re obviously valuable ones and have moved us up the table.

“It’s nice to go into these difficult games on paper in good spirits with a lot of confidence and belief.

“We’re not going to get carried away because we’ve had a good victory tonight.

“In this division you can come down to earth very quickly if you’re not careful.

“We’ll get ready and prepared and hopefully we can keep this unbeaten run going that we’re on at this moment in time.”