PNE star targets win double at Deepdale

Paul Gallagher
Paul Gallagher
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Paul Gallagher is eyeing a Deepdale double when Preston North End host Rotherham United this weekend.

Having seen off Hull City on Monday – Gallagher netting the winner – the Lilywhites face Rotherham on Saturday with another three-point haul the target.

Although the Millers come to Lancashire just outside of the relegation zone, Gallagher believes it will be a tough start to 2016.

“Every game in this division is difficult, to get one point is tough, three is even harder,” he told the Evening Post.

“Rotherham are down there fighting for their lives so we are going to have to be ready.

“We need to make things difficult for teams coming here, we want to get our fans out of their seats early, we want them to be the 12th man.

“As a team, we can take so much heart from the way we played against Hull.

“It shows how much football can change in a short space of time – two days earlier after Huddersfield I felt like retiring!

“The attitude, work rate and graft shown on Monday was different class, it was a pleasure to play in that team.

“To go in 0-0 at half-time was a travesty, even some of the Hull lads were saying to the referee ‘blow for half-time, they are battering us here’.

“We knew Hull would come out a better side than they had been in the first half, so it was a case of sticking together and continuing to play how we had been playing.

“There were lads out there playing with knocks, Bailey Wright was ill and Joe Garner looked like Rocky Balboa with the black eye.

“Everyone out there was proud to wear the Preston shirt, we wanted to give something back to the fans.

“A lot of them had travelled to Huddersfield in bad conditions and we let them down, so being able to put on a good show against Hull was important to do.”

Gallagher put the finishing touch to a free-kick routine for Monday’s winner, that his fourth goal of the season.

Daniel Johnson shaped to curl the set-piece into the goalmouth but instead squared it to Gallagher who finished with a low shot from in front of the penalty spot.

“We have been working on that for quite a while, Bailey did his job in blocking his man and the ball came to me,” said Gallagher.

“I didn’t hit it as nicely as I would have liked, it actually came off my heel – had I hit it nicely, it might have actually flown over the bar.”

Gallagher was one of the walking wounded on Monday, with him continuing to play with a niggling groin injury.

“It’s just one of those things you have to play through,” said the 31-year-old.

“I’m taking paracetamol but they tend to wear off towards the end and it gets a bit sore.

“The manager substituted me on Monday, I didn’t want to come off but sometimes you have to take one for the team and give way to fresher legs.”