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Sean Gregan’s exclusive column: Preston will have been disappointed to be pegged back

Preston North End's Graham Burke celebrates scoring his side's second goal past Stoke City's goalkeeper Jack Butland
Preston North End's Graham Burke celebrates scoring his side's second goal past Stoke City's goalkeeper Jack Butland

You could say it is a sign of the progress being made by Preston when they are disappointed to be held to a draw by a Stoke team which was assembled at a cost of many millions.

That said, when you take the lead twice against any team at home, you want to be winning it.

In the grand scheme of things it could turn out to be a decent enough point.

I know that Stoke have not started the season well but I think that once they catch fire they will be up there in the table pushing for a return to the Premier League.

It shows how competitive the Championship can be when you’ve got a club who have probably spent the best part of £30m on players and kept most of the squad from last season.

That is parachute money for you, whereas once it was to help clubs meet their wage costs, a lot of it now goes on buying players.

Stoke needed the impact of Peter Crouch to find a way past PNE for their second equaliser.

Crouch is that dying breed type of striker and has been successful off the back of it.

While managers want the strikers to run in behind these days, Crouch is rather unorthodox and difficult to handle – a real handful.

For PNE, Paul Gallagher was a big influence on the game in more ways than one.

He scored the penalty for the first goal and his passing range was impressive.

But before that, he had caught Joe Allen with an elbow and that might yet land him in trouble.

Sometimes you need a bit of edge to look after yourself in the Championship but I don’t think Gallagher is the malicious type in any shape or form.

If you get legs around him in midfield as North End did with Ben Pearson and Alan Browne, Gallagher has the ability to get on the ball and spray it around.

Looking at Preston, they are probably still a work in progress in and around the box – that is an issue for Neil to work on.

On a personal note, I was disappointed to lose my job as York’s assistant manager on Sunday morning.

They sacked the gaffer Martin Gray and myself and I’m gutted to be honest.

Last season wasn’t great for us there but in pre-season they let us sign nine players.

There had been a couple of defeats but this week we had won away in midweek and drawn 1-1 at home on Saturday.

I’d hoped they would have given us longer, maybe the first 15 games to see how things were going.

To change things after only five games was too early in my opinion.

I’d gone full-time in the summer as No.2 to Martin, giving up a couple of other things I’d been doing.

That’s football I suppose, managers and coaches are lasting less and less in jobs.

But when it happens to you, it doesn’t make it any easier to accept.

Naturally I’m keen to get back in somewhere as quickly as possible – it’s just waiting for something to come up. Hopefully I’ll be working again quite soon.