Paul Gallagher has signed a new one-year deal at Preston North End and wants to continue to see the ‘project’ he has been involved in at Deepdale stay on an upward curve.
Speaking after putting pen to paper on the new contract, the No.12 told iFollow PNE that he is looking forward to continuing to work with the young players in the dressing room.
“I’m delighted to continue my association with the club,” said the 33-year-old. “I wanted to go away and enjoy my holidays and my time with my family. I have had five years of playing solid football and I knew I needed a good break, always knowing I wanted to try and get something sorted here.
“I have really enjoyed my time at Preston North End and I have seen this project really take off.
“We were in League One when I came and every year we have got better, improving every season and when you look around the squad, it is a young squad, and I enjoy the responsibility of being a role model for the younger lads.
“I believe I can still play at this level without a problem; I really enjoyed myself last season and when you can look around and watch those young players grow, it makes my job a lot easier.”
Gallagher missed a chunk of the early part of last season, suffering injury and illness, but became an integral part of manager Alex Neil’s squad, finishing the campaign with 34 appearance, taking his total with the club to over 220.
And he says that he always had faith that he could continue to be a positive influence to the side: “I always believed in my ability; a new manager coming into the club didn’t phase me,” he continued.
“I have been at clubs where that has happened before. The team that started the season got off to a really good start and when that happens you have to sit back and be ready when it is your opportunity.
“I had the illness that I didn’t know I had and as soon as I got rid of that and I was 100 per cent fit, I worked my way back into the team and I enjoyed playing.
"The different philosophy the manager has here was good for us; and what he does is that he trusts the older players to look after the dressing room and themselves.
“I trained every day, the older players here don’t miss training, they enjoy it and want to be out there; you fight for your place and stay on your toes.”
And going forward he believes the trajectory of the side will continue to be an upward one and thinks that 2018/19 could be a successful one for the Lilywhites.
“We have got a really good squad and you could see last year that we improved a lot and were very unlucky not to get into the Play-Offs. But we have to use that as fire and go again and if we do that and improve, then there is only one place we can go and that is to the Play-Offs or to the automatics.
“We are a young team, but those young players have got a lot of games under their belts. Teams know how we play now, but we are improving every day. It is a group that gives everything and is willing to learn. I am still learning at this age.
“We have a core of players that have managed to stick together and that team spirit and togetherness, along with the quality that we have got, can take us a long way.
“You put that altogether with whatever the manager wants to add and we have the ingredients to have a good season. We had a good year last year, but that has gone and we now need to look forward and make more progress.
“People will be taking note of Preston North End because it is a club that has been on the up and hopefully we can kick on again and at least get into the Play-Offs,” he added.
To watch more from Paul about his contract extension and his hopes and aspirations for the season ahead, click on the video at the top of the story.