Gally's battle cry

Paul Gallagher says it is vital that Preston make full use of home advantage if they are to maintain their play-off push.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 27th March 2017, 5:00 am
Updated Monday, 27th March 2017, 12:19 pm
Paul Gallagher says the international break will have done PNE a favour
Paul Gallagher says the international break will have done PNE a favour

North End are unbeaten in seven Championship games at Deepdale and have won their last four – scoring 11 goals in those victories.

They resume action this Saturday against Nottingham Forest in front of the home faithful and then host Bristol City a week tomorrow.

It is vital for their top-six hopes that they pick up points from the double header to take into tough away games at Leeds and Huddersfield.

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Midfielder Gallagher told the Post: “Our home form has been really good in the last few months and teams coming to Deepdale know they are going to be in for a tough time.

“We’ve taken points off some of the top teams and played some good football.

“We’ve now got two games here against teams who are fighting for their lives at the other end of the table.

“They need the points as much as we do, so we will need to work very hard.

“We will be refreshed and I think the international break probably came at a good time.

“There are a couple of lads carrying injuries and I’m still having a bit of treatment here and there.

“This break between games is one we’ve been using to get ready for the final push.

“The manager knows how to work these breaks, get the right balance between what we do in training and getting a few rest days.”

Gallagher will be eyeing a return to the starting XI after an impressive cameo from the bench in the 2-2 draw against Blackburn.

The 32-year-old played a key part in North End’s late equaliser, his pass splitting open the Rovers defence and allowing Tom Clarke to set up Aiden McGeady.

Said Gallagher: “When the gaffer put me on, he asked me to get my foot on the ball and be creative.

“He knew we would get more of the ball as Rovers are near the bottom of the table and you tend to go into a more defensive mode when you have a lead.

“For the goal, I got a ball from Tom Barkhuizen and I put a bit of disguise on the pass to make it look like it was going back to Tom.

“But I’d seen Tom Clarke make a good run and slipped it through to him.

“Clarkey picked out Geads in the middle who seemed to taken an age to score.

“To be honest, he was very calm and it was a great finish.”

McGeady played the last 11 minutes of the Republic of Ireland’s 0-0 draw with Wales in Dublin on Friday night.

The PNE winger replaced David Meyler as the Irish pushed for a winner against 10-man Wales.

Team-mate Daryl Horgan was an unused sub.”