Exclusive Paul Gallagher Preston North End column

Position-wise and the poor run of form we are at the moment is all a bit new for us and hopefully that will change for the better quickly.

Thursday, 20th September 2018, 5:00 pm
In action against Reading last week

Normally it’s been a case of getting back on it after a defeat or two but results have not gone our way in the league since the opening day.

Our confidence is a bit down at the moment as you would expect and it is up to the more experienced lads, like myself, to help get things going again.

We have to start winning games again, simple as that, and if we do that it will bring our confidence back.

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The results in the league haven’t been good enough and I make no excuses for that.

Little things in football can make a difference, it can be about fine margins and inches.

You look at some of our games, we have gone within inches of scoring at one end and soon after, the other team has broken on us to score.

We have to take our chances, make some those fine margins start coming down in our favour.

What we have to do is stick together and show that great team spirit which we have got here.

We’ve got good people around us who will help us to try and do that.

The team spirit remains a strong point of ours.

We don’t criticise or go round finger-pointing, we stay together and work on things we need to improve.

Even when things aren’t going well, we approach things positively – training, the preparation work, the games.

You’ve seen in football that things can change very quickly and if we can get a couple of wins the table can suddenly look better.

We need to work hard and get back to doing what we do best, making ourselves tough to beat and offering a threat going forward.

What we did last season set the expectations high and rightly so.

People from the outside look in and see that Preston finished seventh.

The expectation from them and from ourselves is to try and better that.

Our approach has to be to treat this season as a fresh challenge and go again.

Where we finished last season has no bearing on what we are doing now.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, teams are giving us more respect.

We were often regarded as underdogs in games, even if that wasn’t merited and we were doing better than a lot of the bigger clubs.

It’s something we have to adapt to – if you want to be successful and want to be remembered at this club, you have to win things.

I see myself having a big part to play as I’m the oldest in the squad and have plenty of experience under my belt.

I can recognise when a player needs an arm around the shoulder in the dressing room, a bit of picking up.

Equally I know when it is a kick up the backside they need.

We have a good staff here who are used to winning and they are working to put things right.

What could get us going is a scruffy 1-0 win, I think we would all settle for that the moment.

During my time here we have shown that we can go on good runs.

Last season we had that difficult time with all of the injuries at the back.

We started to get players back and got a 0-0 draw with Bolton on a Friday night. That wasn’t the best game to play in and watch by any means but it was a start.

We then went on a really good run, picked up some wins and moved up the table.

There was the run we had in League One in the season we got promoted.

We had a bad January and went to Sheffield United for an FA Cup replay at the start of February.

That night we won 3-1 at Bramall Lane – a good omen hopefully – and went 18 games unbeaten in the league.

In the first season in the Championship we had a bit of a struggle to start with and then beat Charlton 3-0 away.

We kept six clean sheets in a row after that.

This weekend we go to Sheffield United and it is a game we are looking forward to playing.

We won 1-0 there at the end of last season.

That was achieved by us keeping solid and then Alan Browne nicking a goal on the rebound.

Browney ended up as a right wing-back after scoring the goal as we sat in and held the lead.

We need to similar this time, keep a solid shape in 
order to try and frustrate them.

If we can do that and keep the crowd quiet, hopefully things can go our way.