Age is proving no barrier for Preston North End midfielder Paul Gallagher

Paul Gallagher celebrates his goal against Wigan in August
Paul Gallagher celebrates his goal against Wigan in August

Paul Gallagher will return to action with Preston North End this weekend with the club’s goal of the month award and another birthday in the bag.

The midfielder turned 35 on Sunday but age certainly has not stopped him being a big influence within the PNE squad.

Paul Gallagher skippering PNE at Nottingham Forest before the international break

Paul Gallagher skippering PNE at Nottingham Forest before the international break

His 39th Lilywhites’ goal on the second weekend of the season against Wigan Athletic won the fans’ poll as their goal of the month. It was the clear winner, getting 82% of the vote.

That came as no surprise, his curling shot from the corner of the box after playing a free-kick routine with Daniel Johnson, having the crowd on their feet at the time.

Gallagher has played 271 times for North End in two spells – the bulk of those since returning six years ago, initially on loan from Leicester and then in a permanent deal.

Despite being the elder statesman of the squad – he is a few months older than David Nugent – there is no sign of him slowing down.

Paul Gallager celebrates Daniel Johnson's goal at Swansea in August

Paul Gallager celebrates Daniel Johnson's goal at Swansea in August

This season he has featured in all six Championship games, starting five of them.

He was used off the bench against Sheffield Wednesday having started the win over Stoke three days earlier.

Gallagher is set to be in the side which faces Brentford on Saturday when play resumes after the international break.

North End took 10 points from the first block of six games, a start Gallagher was reasonably happy with.

He told PNE’s website: “The way we have played in games has been positive and we need to carry it on.

“A year ago was difficult, we only had five points after 10 games.

“So to have 10 points now, level with the play-off places, is good.

“But it is only a start, we need to maintain a level of consistency all the way through.”

Although in recent years Preston’s play has been more suited to away games, their Deepdale form has been the foundation for the good start to this season.

Three wins out of three at home in the Championship can hopefully be four out of four by 5pm on Saturday.

PNE also have home dates with Manchester City, Bristol City and Barnsley before the October break.

City is a ‘free’ match, so to speak, but the three Deepdale league games are a chance to put points on the board.

Gallagher will be looking to feature prominently over the coming weeks, his experience key as PNE look to build on a decent start – it would have been even better but for slips on the road.