Preston North End’s Paul Gallagher apologised for North End’s dismal second half at Huddersfield and said the 3-1 defeat was a ‘wake up call’.
Nahki Wells gave the Terriers the lead against the run of play in the first half but Huddersfield came out all guns blazing in the second half, as Wells added a second and Emyr Huws scored direct from a corner.
It was an unpleasant return to the John Smith’s Stadium for ex-Terriers boss and current North End manager Simon Grayson and also for captain Tom Clarke – who spent 17 years at the club after rising through the ranks from the academy.
He and fellow centre-back Paul Huntington had a torrid time as Wells and Co tore North End apart in the second half.
And midfielder Gallagher – who teed up Adam Reach to reduce the deficit in injury time –admitted that North End were too open and should have been more compact after Wells fired home the second goal in the 55th minute.
He said: “It was one of those games that just got away from us. We worked hard but nothing came off and the ball seemed to drop to them.
“But we have got to look at ourselves. We weren’t on it for some reason
“We had chances but it is the Championship – if you play open, teams will run over the top of you and we were too open.
“You’d think when we went 2-0 down that we would need to get people in, get compact and try and nick one on the break but we didn’t do that.
“People were just going wherever they wanted to, it was too open and it could have been six or seven with the chances they had.
“We had a few chances but we have got to be more streetwise, manage the game and get compact.
“We have been very difficult to play against this season and a lot of teams will tell you that but for some reason we just were not on it.
“Hopefully it is a kick up the backside.
“In this division you have to earn the right to play – you can’t just turn up thinking it is going to happen, you have to make it happen.
“Most times this season we have done that, so hopefully it is a little bit of a wake-up call and now it is time for us to roll our sleeves up.”
Gallagher says PNE will aim to put it right when the Lilywhites host Hull at Deepdale on Monday.
He said: “All season there have only been two games, Brentford away in the second half and again against Huddersfield on Saturday in the second half, that we haven’t been at it.
“We let ourselves down, we let the fans down and we let the manager down
“Luckily enough we have got a game today to put it right.
“I apologise to the fans – it has been a busy weekend and they have come out in their numbers and tackled bad weather to get here.
“We have let them down massively but we will try our best to put on a show on Monday and get a good result.
“We want to bounce back and we need to show desire.
“Hull are probably up there as one of the favourites for promotion so we need to get focused and try and get rid of the negativity from Saturday.”