Paul Gallagher’s exclusive PNE column

Paul Gallagher celebrates with goalscorer Jermaine Beckford against QPR last Saturday
Paul Gallagher celebrates with goalscorer Jermaine Beckford against QPR last Saturday
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I’ll be on the phone to my good friend David Nugent on Friday night to ask him how to score at Portman Road.

It’s well documented how much Nuge enjoys playing against Ipswich – particularly on their own patch.

He has scored in every single game that he has played in Suffolk – including during his time with Preston.

I always remember playing at Portman Road for Leicester and setting one up for Nuge at the back post.

When he stuck the ball away, he went crazy – more than usual – during his celebrations.

I remember thinking at the time – what’s he doing there?

Then I realised that he had kept up his record of scoring in every game that he had played there.

I’m surprised he hasn’t signed for the Tractor Boys during his career, but I once said to him that if he signed for them, the goals would probably dry up.

Maybe our gaffer might see if he can get him in on loan just in time for our trip down there, although to be fair he’s doing well at Middlesbrough and is a part of their plans.

It’s amazing how certain players just have a knack of scoring or doing well every time they play against a certain club.

I would not say I have a record to rival the one Nuge has against Ipswich, but there are clubs I always seem to do pretty well against.

Burnley is a team I more often than not do well against. I have scored and set a few up against the Clarets over the years.

Why I do well when I come up against Burnley might have something to do with the fact that I have played for two of their nearest rivals.

Other clubs I seem to enjoy playing against include Watford and Crystal Palace.

I have scored quite a lot against them – and they would always be two goals here and two goals there as well.

I remember after one game against Palace, their manager at the time Neil Warnock came up to me and said, ‘Can you not go and score against somebody else?’

It’s a pity that all these three teams are not in the Championship this season – looks like I will have to find another team to score against.

Maybe I can breathe in a bit of Nuge’s magic and nick the winner this weekend against Ipswich – that would be nice.

We are looking forward to the trip to Portman Road, especially after getting that all-important first league win at QPR last Saturday.

The lads then built on that by getting a good 2-0 win over Oldham in the cup on Tuesday, although I did not figure in that game.

I would not say there have been worries about our start to the season, but obviously it was not nice losing the first three league games.

We all know that the first half against Reading on the opening day of the season was not good enough.

I felt we deserved something out of the Fulham game and I thought we played really well against Derby and were unlucky to lose to a late goal.

So to have played three games and to have no points on the board was a little bit unfortunate.

But we always have belief in ourselves and the players and staff have stuck together and I am sure the win at Loftus Road will help us kick on over the rest of the season.

We definitely went back to basics against QPR and made sure we worked as hard off the ball as we did on it.

Maybe against Reading, we turned up just thinking we can knock the ball about, but I think we have definitely reverted back to what we were doing well last season.

It was nice to get back to keeping a clean sheet and we also got a bit of luck in the first goal.

I had a hand in that – I managed to find Jermaine Beckford’s face perfectly!

When the ball was bouncing towards me, I was just concentrating on keeping the ball down and there were a few players between myself and the goal.

It came off Jermaine’s face or chin – or whatever part of the body he says it came off – and flew in the back of the net.

Sometimes that is the luck you need, and to be honest, it was a goal I felt we deserved.

We were on the front foot, causing them problems and putting their defenders under pressure.

If you play like that, keep getting the ball in the box and exerting pressure, eventually defences are going to buckle and that is what happened.

Then the second goal sort of sealed it for us. I think they had a corner which we cleared and we broke away.

Jermaine got down the inside right channel and crossed the ball which was turned in by their defender Nedum Onuoha, although Callum Robinson was right behind him and would have stuck it away in any case.

So the two good wins this week puts us in good heart for our trip to Ipswich.

We all know about their manager Mick McCarthy – I think he’s done a good job down there.

They have been close to promotion over the past couple of years , and I think like us, their aim is obviously to get in the Premier League.

Mick’s been there and done it as a manager.

You know what you get with him. His record speaks for itself and I am sure if you’re a club in this division then you want a manager like Mick McCarthy.

I like the way he speaks – he’s very honest and lets his emotions show as we saw in his comments after their game against Norwich last weekend.

We will go there looking to upset Mick and, hopefully, we will see his angry side – which I have seen a few times over the years – come out again after the final whistle.

I would like to finish this column by wishing my former team-mate and good friend Joe Garner all the best after his move to Rangers.

When he told me about the possibility of him going there, I did say that it was a big club and he texted me the other day to say that he didn’t realise just how big the club was.

People cannot really call him for going there after what he has done here at Preston.

He came to the club when it was struggling in League One. He scored loads of goals and helped get the club promoted.

Joe obviously loved his time here and was sad to leave, but the chance to go to Rangers and potentially win medals and play in Europe was too much to turn down.

He is a big miss because he was a big part of our squad both on and off the pitch.

I am sure he will score lots of goals in Scotland, although I hope he doesn’t score in the Old Firm derby – I’m a Celtic fan.