Preston skipper Paul Gallagher unhappy with the 'head start' PNE gave Reading in Madjeski Stadium defeat
Paul Gallagher didn’t enjoy a rare taste of defeat for Preston North End as their unbeaten run came to a halt against Reading.
The 2-1 loss at the Madejski Stadium was PNE’s first in the league since New Year’s Day.
They’d in the meantime put together a 12-game unbeaten sequence, one which carried them deep into the play-off battle in the Championship.
Defeat in Berkshire dropped them down to 10th place but still within touching distance of the top six.
Midfielder Gallagher says there is still all to play for, this a setback rather than North End being mortally wounded in their attempts to extend the season.
Gallagher said: “We haven’t had too many days like this in 2019.
“We have to show we can bounce back, and however disappointed we are, we have to shake it off and go again.
“We’re not going to make excuses, the performance wasn’t good enough and we got found out a bit.
“I said in the dressing room afterwards that there will be twists and turns yet.
“Okay, other results haven’t gone for us but this is still in our own hands because we have sides around us to play.
“We’ve got to stick out our chests and try to go on another good run of form.”
The game got away from North End in a six-minute spell around the half-hour mark when Reading netted twice.
Yakou Meite met a cross from Mo Barrow to put the Royals in front in the 30th minute.
Barrow took advantage of an under-hit back pass from Ben Davies to extend the lead six minutes later.
North End might still have got away with Davies’ back pass falling short had Jordan Storey cleared.
But he appeared to leave it to Declan Rudd to collect and Barrow stole in to score.
Jayden Stockley pulled a consolation goal back for PNE in stoppage-time.
Gallagher, who skippered the side on his return from injury, said:” We knew it was going to be difficult, they play expansive football and we were ready for that.
“To give any team in this league a two-goal head start and you will find if difficult.
“In the second half we got going a bit more and caused them a few issues but or goal came too late in the game for it to have an effect.”