PNE have the power of three

Joe Garner and Paul Gallagher (above) have signed new PNE contracts

Joe Garner and Paul Gallagher (above) have signed new PNE contracts

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Paul Gallagher thinks his Championship experience, together with that of Joe Garner and Jermaine Beckford, can help Preston North End settle at that level following promotion.

Gallagher and Garner were both at Deepdale yesterday to pledge their futures to the Lilywhites.

After three spells on loan at PNE – two of them covering the last 19 months – Gallagher signed a permanent two-year contract.

He was a free agent after being released by Leicester City and will join on a Bosman on July 1.

Top scorer Garner penned a new three-year deal, one which contracts him to the club until the end of the 2017/18 season.

With his partner-in-goals Beckford having agreed a permanent move to Preston after his successful loan from Bolton, the building blocks are in place for life in the second tier of English football.

Gallagher told the Evening Post: “Things seem to be falling into place nicely.

“Myself, Joe and Becks have been in the Championship before and we can help the lads who have not played there.

“League One was tough, every game was competitive with you getting kicked to bits.

“Now we have been promoted to the next level and the Championship is a very good league.

“There are a lot of big clubs in there, quite a few who have been in the Premier League.

“You need a few experienced players in the squad to help.”

Gallagher put pen to paper in between foreign holidays.

His agent had conducted negotiations with club officials over the last couple of weeks, with things finalised yesterday afternoon.

Garner was in during the morning to sign his new deal, that the reward for scoring 27 goals last term.

He had a year to run on his current deal which was signed last summer after protracted negotiations.

Gallagher, 30, revealed there had been interest shown in him by other clubs but North End was always his first-choice destination.

“I’ve really enjoyed the last 18 months or so here and to get promoted at Wembley was fantastic,” said Gallagher.

“It was an easy decision to come back here. There was other interest but we wanted to listen to Preston’s offer first.

“I have been on holiday for the last couple of weeks and people were maybe wondering whether I would sign or not.

“But I wanted to come back and everything got done ahead of me going away again.

“While I have been here on loan for the last season-and-a-half, I never felt like a loan player – I felt like I was here permanently.

“I have always been treated like a permanent player by the people here and it is nice that officially I am now.”

Gallagher clocked up 113 appearances for North End on loan, his first spell coming in 2007 when he was on Blackburn’s books.

He re-joined from Leicester in October 2013 and has been at Deepdale ever since.