Midfielder Paul Gallagher thinks teams are paying more respect to Preston

Preston North End's Paul Gallagher
Preston North End's Paul Gallagher

Paul Gallagher thinks teams now have a different view of Preston and that could have contributed to the below-par start to the campaign.

The Lilywhites have won one of their first six matches in the Championship, that on the opening day.

They have fared better in the League Cup with two wins but it is their league form which needs a kick-start after the international break.

That is something which midfielder Gallagher is only too aware of and the next set of fixtures before the October break are key.

“In this division every game is tough and no team has a given right to win,” Gallagher told the Post.

“Look at Reading who we play next weekend, they were in the play-off final in 2017 but had a tough time last season.

“Over the last three years we have made things horrible for some of the teams in this division.

“Maybe teams are really starting to show us plenty of attention now while before they might have thought ‘it’s little old Preston’.

“That is credit to the staff and players how we have pushed on and we have more of a reputation now.

“In the past we didn’t have a lot of possession in games, we were counter-attacking.

“But when you look at the stats now we are dominating possession, teams don’t come after us as much.

“They sit and it is up to us to go and hurt teams.

“For 20-25 minutes last week against Bolton we did that, we went 2-0 up.

“We should have managed the game better, maybe we got complacent and were taking too many touches here and there.

“In the end we gave them the opportunity to get back at us.

“The more touches we have in certain areas, the more chance the other team has to nick it off you.

“We’ve got to be wise to that and learn from it – we should have made Bolton run more and it was frustrating.”

The international break is probably timely for North End in order to take stock of the first month of the season.

Having trained during the week, the players are on a long weekend before reporting back on Monday.

Gallagher said: “The break gives us the chance to do some recovery work, some tactical and fitness work, as well as to get some rest.

“There’s been a bit of team bonding stuff too.

“The spirit is still high in the squad and we are working towards getting better.

“You approach breaks like this in different ways.

“If you are on a good run of results, you don’t want to stop.

“But maybe the break has come at a good time for us, to get a bit of perspective and work on a few things.”