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Fixture News

Gallen Hails Pompey Chemistry

Assistant manager reflects on victory at Bristol Rovers

21 August 2018

Joe Gallen
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

It ensured that Pompey have made their best start to a league season since the 1980/81 campaign.

And Joe Gallen was thrilled with a 2-1 victory at Bristol Rovers that took their winning run to four successive games.

Not that the Blues had it all their own way. Momentum was with the hosts when Chris Lines’ penalty cancelled out a Gareth Evans opener.

Instead the spot-kick scorer was sent off and Ronan Curtis forced home the winner in the closing stages.

Gallen was pleased with what Pompey showed on the ball, but also by the way they battled for their spoils.

The assistant manager said: “We’re delighted with the three points because this is a tough place to come – it always has been.

“Last season we were 1-0 up and ended up losing 2-1, so you were starting to think that might happen again.

"We’ve got a great spirit with the supporters and the team – that chemistry is really developing."

Joe Gallen

“The manner of the win was great because of the flow of the game during the second half. It did look like they were on top.

“But we’ve got a superb spirit with the supporters and the team – that chemistry is really developing. That’s an encouraging sign.

“It was a really pleasing performance for a lot of reasons, both with and without the ball because we had to dig in at times.

“To win four on the trot is fantastic, but now we turn our attention to another difficult game at Doncaster.”

It was Curtis who conceded the penalty after referee Graham Salisbury decided he had deliberately handled Lines’ corner.

Gallen said: “Ronan felt he was harshly done by, although our players didn’t seem to argue too much about the decision.

“But whether it was or not, he came up with the perfect response. It was fantastic at the end and he’s doing really well for us.”

The other moment of controversy came when Lines was dismissed following a challenge with Pompey sub – and former Bristol City player – Brett Pitman.

Gallen said: “I spoke to Brett and he was caught in the face, while the referee was very close and had no hesitation.

“There didn’t seem to be a good feeling about him around the place when he came on, but he played his part for us.”

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