Paul Gallagher thinks a run in the FA Cup for Preston North End can go hand in hand with a push for promotion.
Next up for the Lilywhites is Saturday’s second-round clash with Shrewsbury at Deepdale, which comes on the back of two successive league wins and penalty shootout joy in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
PNE will not be taking the Shrews lightly, knowing all about the League Two side from their JPT clash earlier in the campaign when a Jordan Hugill goal gave them a narrow 1-0 victory.
Gallagher, who scored his fourth goal of the season in last weekend’s win at Yeovil, said: “We have a tricky game in the FA Cup and we won’t be taking that one lightly.
“We want to win as many games as possible, whatever competition it is.
“Last week the lads went to Oldham and won in the JPT and we want to do well in the FA Cup.
“We take each game one by one and go into them always confident of doing well.
“Within the squad we have players capable of creating chances and scoring them.
“Then we have players who will put their bodies on the line at the other end to try and make sure we don’t concede.
“I think we are mentally strong enough to stay up there in the promotion race for the remainder of the season.
“There will be twists and turns, always things happening, it is a case of staying focused on our game and not worrying about what others do.”
After playing just one of their last eight games at home, Gallagher is looking forward to back-to-back matches at Deepdale.
The visit of the Shrews is followed by a clash with MK Dons a week on Saturday.
MK went above PNE in the table on Tuesday night after a 1-0 win at Sheffield United.
Said Gallagher: “As I’ve got three kids, having all these away games has at least meant I’ve had a few good sleeps!
“It will be nice to get back to Deepdale because there has only been the Bradford game we’ve played at home lately.
“Hopefully the fans will turn out. We appreciate them coming in their numbers to the away games, travelling hundreds of miles.
“It is a two-way thing – they give us their support and hopefully we can return that with some good results.”
Meanwhile, Gallagher has praised the contribution of Paul Huntington to the side.
The centre-half forced his way back into first-team contention in October and has started the last 10 games.
“Hunts is a top pro and even when he wasn’t in the side he was giving 100% in training,” said Gallagher.
“If any kid coming through wants an example of how to be a professional, they should look no further than Hunts.”