Coaching priority for Paul Gallagher during Preston North End's crucial Championship points quest

Paul Gallagher will aid Preston North End’s push for points from the technical area rather than on the pitch.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 12:46 pm

The 36-year-old midfielder is now regarded as an integral part of the coaching team by interim head coach Frankie McAvoy who wants Gallagher by his side during games.

Should North End be hit by injuries and need Gallagher at some point over the next eight games, he remains registered as a player and available.

Gallagher has done more coaching this season, combining that with 15 appearances in the first team.

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Paul Gallagher (left) with Steve Thompson and Frankie McAvoy at Preston North End's Euxton training gtound this week Pic courtesy of PNE

He was a late substitute in last week’s defeat to Luton which proved to be Alex Neil’s final game in charge.

Four days earlier, Gallagher had started the Middlesbrough game, while he was introduced at half-time from the bench at Wycombe.

McAvoy said: “Gally is an excellent player, an excellent servant for Preston.

“Gally has had a good introduction into coaching, how things work, how we like to get things done and he will bring his own ideas as well.

Paul Gallagher in the dugout with Steve Thompson and Alex Neil during PNE's 2-1 win at Huddersfield in October 2020

“That is what we are looking for. The good thing is he knows the players within the dressing room. Gally is going to be coaching, he’s part of the coaching set-up going forward.”

Gallagher has coached the Under-16s at PNE’s academy for the last couple of seasons.

In October, he took his first step into first-team coaching, standing in for McAvoy when the Scot had Covid-19.

His first game officially in the dugout was the 2-1 victory at Huddersfield.

Gallagher has remained part of the coaching team when not in the squad and clearly has developed a taste for it.

The fact he is regarded as a member of the coaching team does ask questions about his future as a player at PNE.

His playing contract runs until the end of June, having signed a one-year deal last summer.

Gallagher has played 313 times for North End, putting him 23rd in the club’s all-time appearances list.

He first joined PNE on loan from Blackburn in 2007 then came back in October 2013 when a Leicester player.

Gallagher was to spend a season-and-a-half on loan before signing a permanent deal in the summer of 2015.

During his career he has made 619 appearances, scoring 106 goals.

The coaching team which McAvoy will lead also includes Steve Thompson and keeper coach Mike Pollitt.

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