Preston North End’s Paul Gallagher expresses his solidarity with unpaid Bolton Wanderers players

Preston midfielder Paul Gallagher is likely to start against Accrington Stanley tonight
Preston midfielder Paul Gallagher is likely to start against Accrington Stanley tonight

Preston North End midfielder Paul Gallagher has expressed sympathy for the plight of his Bolton counterparts.

The Lilywhites should have faced Bolton this evening in a friendly at Leyland’s County Ground.

Accrington will instead be their opponents at the same venue (7.45pm) as Bolton’s players are in dispute over five months of unpaid wages and won’t play the fixture.

“You can see why they don’t want to play,” Gallagher told the Lancashire Post.

“If they go to work they are entitled to get paid and that has not been happening.

“It doesn’t matter if you are a footballer or a plumber or whatever, you have to be paid.

“The lads at Bolton have mortgages and bills to pay like everyone else.

“They want to go out and play football but how can they when they’ve gone so long without being paid?

“It’s a shame when you see what is happening at Bolton and Bury.

“I really do hope something will get sorted, they are two clubs with a big history.

“With Bolton not being able to play this game, it is good that Accrington have come in and agreed to play.

“John Coleman will have them ready and raring to go and it should be a good game.

“I saw them play a couple of times last season and they looked good.”

Gallagher, 34, will start the game tonight and hopes to push through 90 minutes.

He was among a large group of unused substitutes in Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Southampton.

Those who did not face the Saints will get a work-out against Stanley.

Said Gallagher: “We have got a big squad for pre-season and that gives the manager the chance to change things over for the friendlies. A lot of lads got 90 minutes against Southampton and some of us will do tonight.

“With less than two weeks to go until the season starts, it is important to get as long as possible on the pitch.

“We work hard in training but it is the games which get you really sharp.

“You get your timings and positioning from them, while your fitness gets a boost.”

The game was planned for the County Ground, the home of the Lancashire FA, as Bolton use it for Under-23s games.

When they had to pull out of the fixture, it was thought appropriate to keep the clash with Accrington at the same venue.

As well as Gallagher being likely to play tonight, others due to start include Jayden Stockley, Louis Moult, Josh Ginnelly, Patrick Bauer and Paul Huntington.

Following tonight’s action, North End have two further friendlies – at Fleetwood on Friday night and then at home to Newcastle on Saturday.