PNE dream still alive says Gally

Paul Gallagher believes Preston still have a shot at automatic promotion
Paul Gallagher believes Preston still have a shot at automatic promotion
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Preston North End are in last chance saloon as far as automatic promotion is concerned.

PNE travel to face second-placed Brentford on Good Friday knowing a defeat will end their dream of securing a top-two place in League One.

The Bees currently hold an eight-point advantage over fifth-placed Preston with just four games of the normal season left to play.

A win over Simon Grayson’s men will see Brentford move 11 points clear of PNE with only nine points left to play for.

Although Leyton Orient and Rotherham – in third and fourth spot respectively – could still mathematically catch Mark Warbuton’s men in the final run-in to the season, Preston will have to make do with a tilt at the play-offs.

The Bees handed the three teams below them in the table a little bit of hope at the weekend by losing 1-0 at Swindon Town.

And should PNE gain revenge for the 3-0 home loss they suffered at the hands of Brentford earlier in the season, then it could blow the promotion race wide open again.

Loan man Paul Gallagher believes he and his team-mates have the ability to make the final few weeks of the season very interesting.

He told the Evening Post: “We just take each game as it comes and Brentford is the next game for us.

“With them losing at the weekend, it gives everybody else a little bit of hope.

“We’ve just got to try to win every game like we have tried to do all season.

“We’ve had a great season so far but if we can go unbeaten until the end of the season, then I am sure we can make it very close.

“If we can’t make it to that second spot, we will go into the play-offs with the momentum that we need.”

Gallagher believes North End can go into Friday’s game with freedom as all the pressure is on Brentford to secure promotion.

“The hardest bit is getting across the line,” he said.

“You can be up there and then somebody can come along with a late run and take you out.

“They are there to be shot at and the pressure is on them. They will know if they win, they are a step closer to promotion.”

After the visit to Griffin Park, North End then face three games which, on paper, look very winnable.

On Easter Monday, relegation-threatened Shrewsbury Town are the visitors before lowly Gillingham arrive at Deepdale on the penultimate weekend of the season.

Preston bring the curtain down on their season with a trip to Gresty Road to face Crewe, who are also in the drop zone.

“If we can beat Brentford then our next three games are all winnable games,” Gallagher said.

“But those teams are playing for other things – they’re fighting for survival.

“We’ve just got to take it game by game.

“If we can do the business at Brentford, then we can look forward to the next three games. If we can win them, then we will see where we are.”