PNE goal-getter eyes landmark

One more strike will be the 90th in his career for Paul Gallagher
One more strike will be the 90th in his career for Paul Gallagher
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Preston North End’s Paul Gallagher is targeting his 90th professional goal on Saturday when former club Blackburn Rovers arrive at Deepdale.

The attack-minded midfielder has always been a regular contributor to the scoresheet throughout his 13-year career.

He is currently averaging roughly one goal in every five games, having struck 89 times in 431 senior appearances.

In 124 games for Preston, he has found the back of the net on 27 occasions and is currently the club’s second-highest goalscorer this term behind Daniel Johnson. His three goals have proved crucial this season, helping North End record wins away at MK Dons and Charlton Athletic.

Gallagher is hoping there are more goals to come from himself this season and beyond.

He would dearly love to reach a century of career goals before he eventually hangs up his boots.

“It will be a good achievement if I can reach three figures in league football,” Gallagher said. “It’s something I have looked at and always wanted to achieve.

“I’m not going to shoot from everywhere just to try to get there obviously.

“If somebody is in a better position then I’m going to pass to them. I must admit, I’ve had my eye on getting to a hundred goals, but it’s not something which is at the forefront of my mind.

“It would be nice to get there but if I don’t, I don’t.”

Six times in his career, Gallagher has reached double figures for goals during a season.

His best return was during the 2007/08 season when he hit 13 goals in the Championship for Plymouth Argyle.

He has also achieved the feat for Stoke City and twice with Leicester City in the second tier of English football.

And over the previous couple of seasons, he has hit 10 and 13 goals respectively for PNE in League One.

Gallagher also remembers the seven goals he struck in the Premier League for Rovers.

“I’ve always had goals in me throughout my career,” he said.

“Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve always tried to get eight to 10 goals a season and the same again with assists.”

While he enjoys hitting the back of the net, the 31-year-old also derives great pleasure from setting up goals for his team-mates.

Gallagher is hoping he can provide the opportunities for North End’s strikers, who have just one league goal between them so far this season.

“I look around this team and there are goals in it,” he said.

“I know people have been saying that the strikers are not scoring but I am confident that will change soon

“But if you look behind them in the midfield, we have got goals this season and when you think last year, Paul Huntington got nine goals from centre-back.

“So we are confident, if we keep creating chances, we will get the goals.

“We know that the back door is staying shut.

“We know if we keep clean sheets we’ll create chances and score goals.”