Paul Gallagher believes Preston must get back to winning ways as quickly as possible as they look to kick-start their EFL Sky Bet Championship campaign.
The midfielder has been part of two Play-Off pushes in the past two campaigns but this season has been a different story as North End currently find themselves bottom of the league.
After a pulsating 3-3 draw against Aston Villa on Tuesday, Gallagher, who scored Preston’s second goal, admitted the Lilywhites have not been able to piece together a consistent performance over 90 minutes, which has left them struggling to pick up points.
Speaking at Thursday’s pre-match press conference, he said: “We know we’ve not been good enough over the course of the season to merit winning games. Even though we have played good in parts of games.
“You don’t want to find yourself too far adrift because it’s a demanding and difficult division. We want to try and get up and out of the bottom three as quick as possible.”
Reflecting further on Tuesday’s exhilarating game, Gallagher believes Chris Maxwell’s injury time penalty save from Villa midfielder Glenn Whelan could prove to be a vital moment in the season.
He said: “We could have won it. We could have lost it. It was one of those games. I think I went through every emotion in about 10 minutes. It was incredible but hopefully that’s a turning point for us in the season.”
In order to win games, Preston must sort out their defensive problems, conceding three goals in each of their last five league matches and the 34-year-old acknowledged that has to improve.
“When you’re conceding the first goals you’re always giving yourself the uphill task but we need to go out there and get the first goal, try and relax and get that win.
“We know ourselves we need to keep clean sheets and that will give you a chance in the game,” admitted the former Blackburn midfielder.
Gallagher and his teammates will look to put their poor run of form behind them when they face local rivals Wigan Athletic on Saturday.
“You need to start winning games to get that momentum and confidence back and we’ve always got the belief but when you’re always losing games it isn’t nice,” he added.
The game against Wigan also sees Gallagher face an old friend as former North End striker Joe Garner returns to Deepdale.
Gallagher revealed: “He texts me all the time! He is a good friend of mine and I have a good friendship with him, on and off the field. I created quite a number of his goals so that’s probably why.
“Joe was obviously a big hero here with the fans. He wears his heart on his sleeve and he’s a nightmare to play against – even in training he was a nightmare.”
Despite the close relationship between the two players, Gallagher is fully focussed on this weekend’s fixture as Preston look to secure their first league win since the opening day of the season ahead of the upcoming international break.
“All friendships go out the window when you cross that white line.
“You want to get the three points in the bag going into the international break because it’s a long two weeks before you play again,” he said.