Preston midfielder Paul Gallagher has targeted scoring more goals for PNE after reaching his ton against Middlesbrough

Preston North End's Paul Gallagher celebrates scoring against Middlesbrough
Preston North End's Paul Gallagher celebrates scoring against Middlesbrough

Paul Gallagher admitted it needed inch-perfect precision to score his 100th career goal in Preston’s midweek victory at Middlesbrough.

The midfielder reached the landmark with a low free-kick which brought PNE level in the Riverside Stadium clash.

It was the start of a North End fightback, with Jayden Stockley going on to head the winner late in the contest.

Gallagher had been on 99 goals since netting in the win over Championship leaders Norwich a month ago.

His century came just after Boro defender Daniel Ayala’s foul on Brandon Barker had resulted in a red card and the awarding of a free-kick on the edge of the box.

“I was delighted to see the ball go in, it was a big goal for myself and more importantly for the team,” said Gallagher.

“Before the free-kick I hadn’t played well and the team hadn’t either.

“The red card for their lad and the goal was a double whammy.

“When we got the free-kick I told Andrew Hughes what I was going to do.

“I would play it to him, he was to stop it and I knew I had the power to get it past their goalkeeper.

“The far bottom corner was the only place I could go for in all honesty.

“I couldn’t go over the wall because it was like the Berlin Wall – they had Aden Flint and Ryan Shotton stood in it who are about 8ft tall!

“It hit right on the side of the net, I knew I had struck the ball sweetly.”

Gallagher’s first career goal had come more than 15 years ago playing for Blackburn.

He’s gone on to score for Stoke, Plymouth, Sheffield United and Leicester.

In a Preston shirt he has found the net 38 times.

Six of those have come this season and with him having recently signed a new contract which runs until the end of next season, it is likely that more will follow.

Gallagher said: “I’ll settle for 150, maybe 200!

“Any goal is welcome and they make me feel happy, for myself and my family getting 100 goals is brilliant.

“It sounds a bit cheesy but the big thing the other night was the three points.”

North End go into today’s clash with Birmingham City at Deepdale just two points shy of the play-off places.

After six away wins on the bounce, getting a victory in front of the home faithful would be a huge boost.

Said Gallagher: “It would be nice to get the home form going a bit more.

“Away from home in the last few weeks we have been really strong, just as we were last season.

“I have been going on to the pitch believing we can win every game.

“That is not arrogance, that is just confidence.”