Paul Gallagher admits North End’s opening to today’s game wasn’t good enough, and although acknowledged it improved over time, the No. 12 feels a better start is needed on Saturday.
The games are coming thick and fast as Gally and Co. as they face the hectic Christmas calendar, and after being narrowed out against Hull City on Boxing Day, the 34-year-old is looking for a better response next time out.
“The first half we didn’t play to the standards that we set,” said Gallagher to iFollowPNE.
“We were loose and second to every ball and we knew ourselves going into half-time that it wasn’t good enough.
“The second half was better, and come Aston Villa on Saturday, we need to start the game as well as we started the second half today.
“We got the equaliser and it’s a great finish from Browney and then the crowd get with us and we start picking up some momentum - but we needed to score when we were really on top because that would have taken the game away from them, but we’re just gutted that they managed to nick the goal. We’ve had a great home record and we’re gutted to lose that.”
Jackson Irvine’s brace either side of half-time condemned North End to their first defeat at home in seven outings at Deepdale, and Gallagher was disappointed in the manner of the conceded goals.
He added “For the second goal we have to be better than that, over the years we’ve dealt with set plays relatively well but for one reason or another we’re struggling with them at the moment.
“We knew we had to be braver and dominate possession, but first and foremost we needed to win the battle.
“We have to defend as a unit and in the first half we didn’t do that, they had time to play the ball, they’ve got some dangerous players out wide and we needed to stop them but we shouldn’t be going one down to stop them from playing.
“The manager has his hands tied at the minute with injuries and suspensions. It’s a squad game and we need to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves down and get ready for another big game Saturday.
“If you put the amount of injuries we have on any squad they’d struggle but we need to bounce back and we know we can. Usually when we have a bad result we do bounce back and hopefully we can come back with a positive performance on Saturday.”
Access more reaction from Gallagher by heading to iFollowPNE now.