Hard work pays off for Preston against Norwich City, says Paul Gallagher
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As the ‘magic of the cup’ rapidly descends into far fetched cliché – for Norwich City fans at least – there was no avoiding the Deepdale joy that welcomed Saturday’s full-time whistle.
Given the size and potential at North End, they should really end their exile to League One soon. And given their Championship cup scalps in recent seasons, they appear to have the quality to do so.
Certainly, more of the clinical finishing on offer from Paul Gallagher against City would make that goal a reality.
“We knew it was going to be tough,” said the on-loan Leicester man. “Norwich are a good team with Premier League players in them, but we want to test ourselves against the best teams to show that we’re capable of that.
“We made plenty of changes but that just shows the strength in depth with this squad. We knew if we played them the right way, match them with energy we knew we had the quality to get the goals.
“It’s a good clean sheet, and the unbeaten run continues.
“Dave Buchanan came in and got man of the match. Bailey Wright’s not played for a long time but he came in and was fantastic, and it was only Calum Wood’s second start from a long lay-off. So there was competition all over the pitch.
“The gaffer made a lot of changes but whoever he plays, all of the lads are right behind him and you could see that. There’s no better feeling than winning games. We want to win every game and make the fans happy.”
Given the response of Simon Grayson’s squad – with a backdrop suggesting PNE’s midweek Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area final was of greater importance – dispatching Norwich City in the FA Cup will have put even broader smiles on those in Lancashire.
“I was buzzing – it’s been three months since I played my last game, so to get out there was nice, but to get a win and a clean sheet was an added bonus,” said Australian international and captain Wright.
“It was something I was looking to do when I was first going out, and it was nice to get the boots back on and go out there and win a game.”
• Follow Michael Bailey on Twitter @michaeljbailey