Midfield ace Paul Gallagher wants to earn new deal with Preston

Paul Gallagher is out of contract in the summer
Paul Gallagher is out of contract in the summer

Paul Gallagher hopes he can extend his stay with Preston into next season.

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The 33-year-old is out of contract in the summer but remains an integral part of the PNE side.

Gallagher has made 21 starts in the Championship this term, all but one of them since November after injury, concussion and illness hit him in the first few weeks of the campaign.

On Tuesday night against Leeds he began North End’s comeback by scoring from the penalty spot early in the second half.

That was his 32nd goal in a Preston shirt – the first came in 2007 when he was loan from Blackburn.

He returned to Deepdale in October 2013 on loan from Leicester and in June 2015 turned it into a permanent move. Gallagher told the Lancashire Post: “I have 
got a lot of affection for this club.

“After the loan spell when we lost to Rotherham in the play-offs, I could have gone to the Championship because I had offers there.

“But I wanted to come back here and help Preston to get promotion.

“We managed to do that and the club has grown since being back at this level.

“I have played a lot of games here, scored plenty of goals and got a lot of assists.

“I’ve been really happy with how I have done here and I think the supporters will say the same.

“I enjoy it here, everyone knows I’m a big character on and off the field.

“If I can help in any way by bringing my experience, I will do that.

“Fingers crossed, I’m still here next season, I feel fine and I’m playing.

“Hopefully something can be sorted out.”

Gallagher, a likely starter against Queens Park Rangers today, has enjoyed working under Alex Neil this season.

The change of playing style Neil has sought has impressed Gallagher.

“If you think about it, the manager has turned us full spin from how we used to play,” said the midfielder.

“Sometimes it takes clubs years to do that but it has been done quickly.

“It is great how we have adapted here, the players were able to do that quickly and the manager identified that we were able to do it.

“If it doesn’t happen this season, it will be next season when Preston will really be challenging.

“The manager puts long hours in studying the other team and working out how to get the better of them.”

Meanwhile, the Lilywhites hope to have Gallagher’s team-mate Daniel Johnson back in the squad at QPR.

DJ has missed the last two matches due to a virus and an abscess in his mouth.