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Fixture News

Gallen: It Was Never Going To Be Easy

Assistant manager reflects on victory over Bury

16 December 2017

Perhaps it was the result of a few festive hangovers or maybe it was the fact that the action on the pitch did little to excite.

But the atmosphere at Fratton Park for Pompey’s League One clash with Bury was noticeably flatter than usual.

It certainly rose when Matt Clarke opened the scoring in the second half – a goal that ultimately proved to be the winner.

And Joe Gallen believes the Shakers being rooted to the foot of the table could have led some people to take victory for granted.

Pompey’s assistant manager said: “It was a really big game at Charlton last week in front of one of the more fancied teams, so to come away with the win gave everyone a lot of confidence.

“Then if you look at the table this morning you would have seen us in seventh and Bury sitting at the bottom.

“So perhaps some of the fans were thinking it would be a pretty straightforward afternoon, but it never turns out like that.

“Coming out of it with a goal from a set-piece and having not conceded is great and we had to be patient.

"Perhaps some of the fans were thinking it would be a pretty straightforward afternoon, but it never turns out like that."

Joe Gallen

“Bury were always going to try to close things up in the first half and quieten the crowd. That’s what we would have done in their situation.

“We’re just pleased with another victory and it sets us up nicely for next week, which is another big game against a side above us.”

Clarke’s winner was a firm header from a Gareth Evans set-piece and Gallen wants to see that happening on a more regular basis.

He said: “It’s something that we’re desperate to improve upon because our last goal direct from a corner in the league was against Fleetwood in September.

“Gareth has got excellent – and consistent – delivery, with a lot of pace on his crosses, so we’ve been a bit surprised that more people haven’t got on the end of them in recent weeks.

“It was a very accurate ball into the box and in the right area for Matt to attack it with a bullet header.”

Midfielder Stuart O’Keefe failed to emerge for the start of the second half after collecting a groin injury.

Gallen said: “He told us that it was very tight. It’s too early to assess at the moment, but I’m sure we’ll have a better idea on Monday.

“It shows the strength in depth we’ve got that Ben Close came on and did very well throughout the second half.”

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