That one’s for Joe says PNE ace Gally

Paul Huntington (right) celebrates scoring his Preston's first goal
Paul Huntington (right) celebrates scoring his Preston's first goal
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PNE match-winner Paul Gallagher dedicated North End’s 2-0 victory over Yeovil Town at Huish Park to crocked team-mate Joe Garner.

Top scorer Garner suffered a serious knee injury in last weekend’s 1-0 victory over League One leaders Bristol City and will be out of action for at least four months.

Premier League strugglers Aston Villa heaped more misery on PNE by recalling young hot-shot Callum Robinson from his loan spell on Tuesday.

But Gallagher said he will not let the double blow derail third-placed PNE’s promotion push and vowed to climb the league for Garner.

He said: “The win is one for Joe as well. We are doing our best to try and get closer to the top of the league for him.

“But the team has to get through without them. We can’t sit back and say we have lost two players and we won’t do so well. It is disappointing to lose them but we want to try and achieve something here – promotion.”

Gallagher admitted the 2-0 victory was an ‘ugly’ win and said the PNE players are prepared to put their bodies on the line as the fight for the title hots up.

He said: “I didn’t even have any energy to celebrate my goal. There were a few of us on our last legs out there. We put everything into it and it is a big pitch too.

“Sometimes we are going to have to win ugly – we can’t always play the pretty game. Last week at City we did the same and we repeated that against Yeovil.

“That is what is going to happen through the season. If we want to achieve promotion, we are going to have to put our bodies on the line.

“We lost a few on the bounce but good teams bounce back and win a few in a row and that is what we have done.”

PNE boss Simon Grayson signed Jermaine Beckford on loan from Bolton in November and Gallagher backed the his fellow loanee to fill the void left by Garner.

The on-loan Leicester forward said: “Jermaine was fantastic against Yeovil…he worked his socks off.

“You know what you are going to get with him – he makes those runs and if you put him in he will finish them. The goals will come for him soon I’m sure, because he is a goalscorer.

“It helps when you play with people you know. I came through the ranks with Joe at Blackburn so I know where he wants the ball.

“It is the same with Jermaine. I played with him quite a lot at Leicester and when other people know how you play it is a lot easier.

A Gallagher set-piece teed up ex-Yeovil man Paul Huntington to open the scoring and the Scot sealed the deal in injury time as he linked up with Kevin Davies.

Davies’ sublime pass unleashed the Scot but despite his ice-cool exterior, Gallagher revealed his mind was whirling as he ran one-on-one with the keeper.

He said: “Sometimes when you have a lot of time it can be difficult. You think, 
‘What should I do’? Sometimes it is better coming on 

“I can hear Jack King shouting, ‘Wait for me’. I had a look but he wasn’t near so I ran on and I was confident of scoring.

“Yeovil kept going. The red card shown to Ryan Inniss made it a different game – they still had a go but we were professional saw the game out well.”