Exclusive Paul Gallagher Preston North End column: Flattered by being voted club’s Player of the Decade

For the Preston North End fans to choose me as their player of the decade in a vote on social media was a fantastic accolade and I thank them so much.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 4:00 pm
Competing with Middlesbrough striker Rudy Gestede at Deepdale
Competing with Middlesbrough striker Rudy Gestede at Deepdale

I’ve been here quite a long time now and I appreciate what this club means to the supporters, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

That is why the defeats we had against Middlesbrough and Reading hurt so much.

We knew that we could play so much better and to fall below our standards was very disappointing.

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Every player in that dressing room wants to be successful at this club and to be successful you need determination and quality to shine through.

It’s not just Preston North End who want to be successful though, every club in the country does.

That is why all the games are hard, no one is going to roll over and let you get on with it. They will compete for everything just as we do.

Our results in the first half of the season have given us an opportunity to push on and we don’t want to let that hard work dwindle away.

So we will be working hard to bounce back from these home defeats and get ourselves on an even keel.

Maybe in the Reading and Middlesbrough games we have got a bit uptight and not shown what we are all about.

Footballers are human and sometimes under pressure you don’t do things how you want to.

When you are playing well and relaxed, you pick the right pass or your shooting is nice and crisp.

But when you are chasing a game and results haven’t been quite going your way, you maybe try and be a bit too precise and passes go astray.

It will come back for us, there are good players here and we have come out on the other end of bad runs before.

As a squad we will have a look at ourselves and look how we can do things better.

We’ve shown for long spells this season that we can play well and score a lot of goals. We will get back to doing that – we’ve got the 
FA Cup this weekend as a break from the Championship and then it’s back to play our local rivals Blackburn Rovers the week after.

Looking back on the Middlesbrough game, we wanted to get back to winning ways after being beaten by Reading.

In the first part of the game I thought we had the better opportunities. I take responsibility for giving 
away a cheap free-kick for the first goal.

As a team and unit we needed to defend the free-kick a lot better than we did.

In the second half, as we chased an equaliser I thought we were in the ascendancy but then an uncharacteristic mistake from Ben Davies with the own goal saw Boro get their second.

Ben has been fantastic all season but just at the moment things aren’t going our way.

The last two defeats have been against sides that sit in if they get the first goal.

They invite pressure and then hit you on the counter.

When you are a goal down you have to risk things by pushing more people forward and that leaves you vulnerable on the break.

We’ll work hard to put things right and I’m sure the results will turn.