Preston North End midfielder Paul Gallagher is fully focused on the busy Christmas period and ready to take on one game at a time.
The Lilywhites’ No.12 has now had more Christmas’ as a player in his life than those when he wasn't a professional and he is well aware of what is needed.
The 34-year-old and his team-mates face their first of four Championship games in ten days this weekend, when they travel across the Pennines to face Jos Luhukay’s Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough and Gally says that the squad want to use the game to go into the new year looking upwards after their start to the season.
“All our focus was concentrating on getting away from the bottom three,” he told iFollow PNE at Springfields.
“We knew we hadn’t started in the manner we wanted to, but we have shown real character bouncing back and getting one defeat in 12 in the Championship is a good record; but we don’t want to be complacent.
“We want to keep going, keep kicking on and if we can win the next game it could push us up the league and into the top half.”
The Glasgow-born man, who has been influential in the middle of the park in recent weeks, recalls last season’s clash between the two sides in the steel city and is using the memory as motivation heading into the match, which marks the mid-point of the season.
“Wednesday won’t be too happy with how they have started the season. They are big club with a big budget,” he continued.
“We went there last year and although we lost the game, we played really well in the first half. We should have been well out of sight in the first half, but you know in this division that if you don’t take your chances, it can come back and bite you.
“It still hurts me, that game, because we were playing well and we ending up losing it due to some sloppy play, so it is down to us to go there and put that right this weekend, but I am sure Sheffield Wednesday are in the same position, because they need to win games.
“It could be a good game this weekend; we know there is going to be a good crowd, it’s a good ground and good place to play.
“In the last few weeks we have gone on the road and got points, which is important.
“In this spell we have averaged two points a game, which, if we can keep it up until the end of the season, we will be right in amongst it.
“It is about keep focused, keeping our feet on the ground and personally I like this period coming up – the festive period. There are some big games, some big crowds and everyone is looking forward to it.”
Gallagher may be the elder statesman in the squad, but his performances in recent weeks have not shown his age and he says that the quick run of games coming up is something he is looking forward to and what all the extra work he puts in is for.
“I always look after myself. When we come back for pre-season I am always near the front of the running, even at my age and I am out there near enough every day training, one of the last to get in - sometimes the manager has to tell me to go in.
“I practice free kicks or technique work and I love training, I love being out there with the lads and I feel like I need to be role model for the younger players.
“When I was a young player, I used to look to the older players to see how they looked after themselves, not only on the pitch, but off the pitch, in and around the training ground. I looked at what they did before training and after training to help themselves prolong their career and carry on playing.
“This game has got a lot quicker since I came in to playing and to keep up with these young lads, you have to look after yourself.
“Playing 90 minutes is not a problem; I always knew I could do it. I have always had a good relationship with the manager as well; we speak quite often and if I have a problem, I tell him and it works really well that day.
“I have been in this position [with four games in ten days] plenty of times before and I really enjoy them.
“They come fast and if you can get on a little run, it can catapult you up the division and I feel fine.
“We recover well as a team and when you are winning games you seem to feel fresher for some reason; that momentum gives you that extra energy and you just want to get back out there and we have some good games coming up,” he added.