Midfielder Ryan Ledson on why Paul Gallagher is key man for Preston North End

Midfield maestro Paul Gallagher
Midfield maestro Paul Gallagher

Paul Gallagher’s importance to the Preston team and the squad as a whole cannot be stressed enough, according to his midfield colleague Ryan Ledson.

Gallagher hit the headlines with a superb goal in the 3-0 win over Wigan Athletic and a fine all-round display.

The statistics showed that he made 66 completed passes in the Wigan half of the pitch, the fourth-highest number in the opposition half in the Championship that day.

That wasn’t bad for the 68 minutes he was on the pitch before a tight Achilles saw him substituted as a precaution.

Ledson said: “When you have got that great delivery from Gally you know you are in with a chance of a goal.

“Gally has been absolutely brilliant for us, we see that in training from him every day.

“He’s great with the young lads, he’s been great with me, passing on advice, trying to help in any way he can.

“He’s a top all-round pro and very important to what we do here.

“Players will talk about a team-mate doing something good in training every day and Gally really does.

“We have shooting drills at the end of sessions and his right foot is like a wand, he can put that whip on a ball.

“Gally has been doing that sort of thing since he was a young player.

“I watched the Wigan game sat next to David Nugent and as soon as we got the free-kick Nuge told me, ‘This will go in’.

“He’d seen him do that at Leicester and Gally has done that throughout his career.”

Ledson’s thoughts on the midfielder were echoed by North End boss Alex Neil who is a big admirer of Gallagher.

Said Neil: “His quality has been there for all to see since he came to Preston.

“He’s been a key player for me since I’ve been here. It’s not solely what he does on the pitch, but his influence about the place.

“If ever there was a guy you need in the team to help put a performance together and get a good result, it is this guy.”

Gallagher’s performance against Wigan won him a place in the EFL team of the week.

Meanwhile, North End striker Sean Maguire says he is happy switching between being a No.9 and playing a wide role.

The Irishman operated on the left wing against Wigan having played in the middle at Millwall on the opening day.

Said Maguire: “There are particular games where I will like playing on the wing and others where I like to play up front.

“Playing as the No.9 is my preferred position but when Louis Moult played there last Saturday he held the ball up really well and knocked it off for myself and Billy Bodin.

“I’m at my best when I’m facing the goal.”