Exclusive Sean Gregan column

Preston midfielder Alan Browne holds off the challenge of Richard Stearman in the 1-1 draw with Fulham
Preston midfielder Alan Browne holds off the challenge of Richard Stearman in the 1-1 draw with Fulham
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Although Preston might be a little bit disappointed not to have won against Fulham, I still think it was a decent point for them at Craven Cottage.

Fulham have some quality in their squad, the £11m they spent on Ross McCormack a prime example.

North End went to West London, took the lead through Joe Garner, and were within 15 minutes or so of bringing back the victory. Hopefully that was the start of another unbeaten run – it was a good response to being beaten by Blackburn the last time out.

Fulham’s equaliser was not a case of North End being carved open – I made the same sort of comment after the Blackburn game when they scored with a penalty and an own goal.

This time it was a great piece of finishing from McCormack at a set-piece.

Another comment I made last week which I’ll repeat this time, is that it is great to see Garner on the scoresheet.

His all-round game was good at Fulham, going close with a shot from well outside the box and setting chances up for others.

I’ve always liked Garner – he’s a feisty lad who will try from anywhere to score.

When he wasn’t scoring, he continue to battle and graft, knowing that eventually a goal would come.

Garner is a player I would put into the category of being a leader, through his importance to the team and the way he plays.

Credit Simon Grayson too, he stuck by him when the goals weren’t coming.

While it is still only two goals Garner has scored, don’t be surprised to see that number grow over the next few weeks.

Unfortunately, it looks like Stevie May has picked up a bad injury and I wish him as speedy recovery as possible.

As Grayson looks for the right combination until he can get Jermaine Beckford back with Garner, he now has one less option up there.

It is another away game next for North End, with the trip to Burnley on Saturday.

Burnley are going well in the play-off places and I’m sure it won’t be a game for the faint-hearted.

They have kept together a lot of last season’s squad from the Premier League and have added a quality striker in the shape of Andre Gray.

One of my memories of a trip with Preston to Turf Moor was a 3-0 victory there in the season we won the title.

We had only been playing for a few minutes when Lenny Johnrose went in two-footed on me.

I carried on until the ball next went out of play and as my leg was feeling a bit sore, I rolled my sock down to see if there was a mark there.

There was a gaping hole in my leg and you could see the bone and tendon – it was like I was being operated on!

I had to come off and to be fair, the Burnley club doctor did an excellent job sorting me out. The wound needed a lot of cleaning to prevent infection getting in, then it had to be stitched together.

We had scored early when I was still on the pitch but later as I lay in the treatment room, I could our fans cheering as two more goals went in.

Finally, congratulations to Leicester’s Jamie Vardy on breaking the Premier League record of scoring in 11 consecutive games.

What an achievement that is and not bad for a lad who has come up the hard way through non-league.

There is some talent down the football pyramid if you look closely enough – it is 
all about clubs taking a 
gamble and having some patience.