PNE’s perfect plan

Paul Gallagher celebrates after scoring
Paul Gallagher celebrates after scoring
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Match winner Paul Gallagher felt that Preston North End had ‘played their game plan to perfection’ when beating MK Dons.

Gallagher scored the game’s only goal at stadium:mk, latching on to a Joe Garner pass before calmly sliding a shot past MK keeper David Martin.

It was his first PNE goal since Easter Monday and delivered the club’s first win back in the Championship.

Whether he will be fit for tomorrow night’s trip to Rotherham remains to be seen, Gallagher tweaking a groin muscle in the second half.

Gallagher said: “We have come into the season with confidence, bringing with us the momentum from winning in the play-offs.

“We want to make an impact in this league, all the lads are buying into it and we are all pushing in the same direction.

“Against MK Dons we had a game plan and we played it to perfection.

“We could have probably won by a couple more goals, we felt comfortable in the game.

“MK Dons are a good side and are in this division for a reason.

“We went there and did a job last season and then did so again at the weekend, there is something about that ground we like.

“It was nice to get our first Championship win on the board and hopefully there will be plenty more to follow.”

North End played a counter-attacking style at MK Dons, Gallagher’s goal coming from one such move.

The ball was quickly worked from the centre circle out to Will Keane who played Garner into space down the inside-right channel.

The striker played provider on this occasion, cutting inside and slipping a fine pass through to Gallagher to finish.

Gallagher said: “I didn’t think Joe was going to pass at first because he normally shoots from anywhere!

“It was a nice little ball from Joe and I managed to wriggle through the middle into a shooting position.

“Sometimes they are the hardest types of finishes because you have time to think about it.

“I had three things in my mind – do I whip it, chip it or wait for the keeper to go down?

“Luckily I saw the keeper going down and I slotted it past him.

“I might have scored the goal but it was a great team performance.

“It carried on what we started last week against Middlesbrough, while the lads played well at Crewe.”

Gallagher is enjoying being back in the Championship and thinks this level will suit his play.

“I’ve told the lads who haven’t played in the Championship before that you get a bit more time on the ball,” said the 31-year-old.

“League One is a bit hustle and bustle but in this division, you get a bit more respect and time on the ball to use it wisely. This season is a good challenge for us all.”