Gallacher's attitude impresses boss

PUBLISHED: 07:40 24 October 2006 | UPDATED: 09:45 14 September 2010

CHRIS LAKEY

Paul Gallacher returns to the starting line-up at Port Vale with words of praise from boss Peter Grant ringing in his ears. The Scot was axed by Grant for Saturday's visit of Cardiff, but returns tonight because his replacement, Jamie Ashdown, is ineligible as part of his loan deal from Portsmouth.

Paul Gallacher returns to the starting line-up at Port Vale tonight with words of praise from boss Peter Grant ringing in his ears.

The Scot was axed by Grant for Saturday's visit of Cardiff, but returns tonight because his replacement, Jamie Ashdown, is ineligible as part of his loan deal from Portsmouth.

The decision to drop Gallacher was a major weekend talking point, but Grant said his attitude was first class.

“It was excellent,” said Grant. “It is alright to say that and heap praise on players but I have seen players go the other way. His attitude, the way he treated Jamie on Friday and worked with him on Friday before the game and in the warm-up was something special.

“I know Paul will think, 'the manager is giving me a wee pat on the back just to make me feel good', but that isn't the case.

“If I drop somebody they deserve to be dropped. I am not going to pat them on the back to make them feel good, I am going to give them the reasons behind it.

“But his reactions were excellent and he was part of the reason we won the game because that showed me there was a spirit within the group that, before I came, I had heard people question - but I haven't seen any of that.”

Gallacher's opportunity to shine comes in the wake of Grant criticising Ashdown for his debut performance and suggesting that a permanent move might not be on his mind.

“He will have to play better than he did on Saturday, that's for sure,” said Grant. “The reasons I brought him in is because he has got a presence about him and he has played in the Premier League. He has played in teams that have won the division, but on Saturday things were done that are not Jamie Ashdown-like and that disappointed me a little bit.

“If he doesn't do the business he won't be here.”

Grant is proving a hard man to please but insists there will be no slacking.

“When we get promotion I will know we're alright,” he said. “The next step then is progressing it again. Some people will think 'you're there', but that's when you get bit on the backside - I'm not going to fall for that one.

“We have done okay, that's all we have done, okay. There are a hell of a lot of things we still have to put right, but the players know that, which is the biggest thing.

“The players are not going about waving flags, they know there is a lot to be put right. We have a lot to learn.”

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