PNE have the '˜new Gareth Bale'

Preston North End winger Adam Reach's man-of-the-match performance against Wolves on Saturday bore more than a passing resemblance to Real Madrid '˜Galactico' Gareth Bale.

Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 5:00 am
Adam Reach celebrates his goal at Molineux

That is the view of fellow PNE team-mate Paul Gallagher, who was hugely impressed with the 23-year-old’s performance at Molineux.

Reach – on loan at Deepdale after being borrowed from Middlesbrough – revelled in a free role behind striker Joe Garner on Saturday, as manager Simon Grayson handed him licence to roam.

He played a key role in Gallagher’s opener in the 17th minute and was in the right place at the right time in the second half to double North End’s advantage.

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That goal proved to be crucial as the visitors went on to collect all three points courtesy of a 2-1 victory.

Reach popped up on both wings and in the ‘hole’ – producing a display befitting of the legendary Sir Tom Finney, whose death two years ago was marked with a round of applause by the visiting fans in the seventh minute of the match.

“Adam’s a bag of energy,” said Gallagher. “The way he moves, he reminds me of Gareth Bale.

“He’s got those big shoulders and he can drift with the ball.

“Reachy picked me out with a ball in the first half at Wolves and I managed to get the shot away, but unfortunately it went over the bar.

“He’s a very clever player, very strong and very good on the ball.

“He covers a lot of ground and is doing a great job for us.

“We can give him the ball and he can go and carry it the full length of the pitch.

“We have got a few players like that such as Daniel Johnson and Alan Browne, but Adam has come in and fitted in really well.”

Gallagher’s goal against Wolves was helped on its way into the back of the net thanks to a wily piece of play by Reach.

After latching on to Joe Garner’s flick-on, Gallagher lobbed the ball over the on-rushing keeper, with Reach cleverly blocking off home defender Matt Doherty.

The goal took Gallagher to five for the campaign and the 31-year-old is hopeful of adding to that tally. The former Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City midfielder spoke earlier this season of how he would love to reach a century of career goals.

He is homing in on the three-figure mark and now needs just nine more to reach the milestone.

“I still believe I can score goals,” said Gallagher. “I can set goals up and score them also. The manager has give me that licence to roam, to go and express myself in the final third.

“It was nice to see the ball drop over the keeper for my goal on Saturday. It was a bit worrying to see the defender swinging for it but Reachy has obviously been watching the Superbowl, because he did a good block on the defender.”

North End face promotion challengers Sheffield Wednesday at Deepdale on Saturday and Gallagher said: “I believe they have sold a lot of tickets for the game,” he said.

“They are another team looking to get promoted, but it’s our job to get Deepdale rocking and hopefully we can get another three points.”