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Paul Gallagher won't play again this season after Alex Neil's exit

Preston have handed the reins to Frankie McAvoy for the rest of the season – and that means an interesting knock-on effect for Paul Gallagher.

Alex Neil’s time as North End boss came to an end last Sunday, with Preston parting ways with the Scot after a 1-0 home defeat to Luton Town.

McAvoy will be ‘interim head coach’ from now until the summer, and he will be aided by Gallagher and Steve Thompson.

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McAvoy has now told BBC Radio Lancashire that Gallagher will focus on coaching for the final stages of the season, and won’t actually play.

This has left some fans wondering – has Gallagher now played his final game for the club, and possibly in his career?

Gallagher is now 36, and will be 37 just a month into next season. His contract expires this summer, and there has been no word on an extension.

It would be truly sad for Gallagher to have already made his final appearance for the club, but it seems that he is now placing more of an emphasis on his coaching.

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Having started coaching in the youth ranks, Gallagher has played an important role in first-team coaching this season alongside Neil, McAvoy and Thompson.

It’s also something of a surprise that, given how Preston need points to secure survival, North End have publicly shut down Gallagher for the season in order for him to just coach.

Maybe this is a chance for Tom Bayliss to finally step forward at North End, or maybe McAvoy will end up needing to walk this stance back if results continue to be poor.

Either way, Gallagher is a modern day Preston hero, and if we can’t see him playing anymore, seeing him as an important coach for years to come would be something of a consolation.

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