PNE playermaker Gallagher looking to move up the table

Paul Gallagher
Paul Gallagher
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Paul Gallagher is strong in his belief that Preston North End can pull themselves clear of the Championship’s bottom three.

The attacking midfielder says an improvement in results has to start soon though, so that PNE can avoid having to play a big game of catch-up.

North End resume action on Saturday when they host Cardiff City at Deepdale.

That is followed by away games against Charlton and league leaders Brighton.

Gallagher has been a frustrated spectator over the last few weeks, a calf injury forcing him to miss all of the games in September.

He was fit enough to return to the bench at Sheffield Wednesday 10 days ago but didn’t see action.

“The Championship is very demanding and it is only small things which has been costing us in games,” Gallagher told the Evening Post.

“In most of the games we have done well for spells but not quite been able to finish things off.

“At Sheffield Wednesday the other week, there was nothing at all between the sides in the first half.

“I remember saying to Neil Kilkenny just before half-time that there had not been a shot on goal all half.

“Then 20 seconds later, the ball was in the back of our net because we didn’t deal with a ball coming in there.

“Everyone is learning about this division, I’m still learning even though I’ve played at this level a lot.

“I think we can get up the table but we need to start getting results so we don’t get left too far behind. Some of the performances have been very encouraging.

“The Wolves game was an unbelievable one, the boys put in a great shift.

“When you look at all the games we have played this season, it has never felt like we shouldn’t be here.

“The Middlesbrough game we could have won, then we went to MK Dons and won.

“At Rotherham we hit the bar, then against Ipswich we played some great stuff only to get undone by a superb goal.

“We’ve had some of our bigger players out at times, with Jermaine Beckford, Joe Garner, Paul Huntington and myself missing games.

“But other players have come in and shown what they can do – Alan Browne has done really well over the last few games.

“Every club will have injuries through the season but we do seem to have got quite a few at once.”

Gallagher is set to go back into the Preston side against Cardiff, the 31-year-old having featured in a practice game against Blackburn last week to help regain full sharpness.

He said: “Being in the gym rather than out training these last few weeks hasn’t been fun.

“I’m paid to be out there trying to win games, not being stuck in the gym.”

Meanwhile, young left-back Nick Anderton has returned to Deepdale after spending two months on loan with National League side Aldershot.