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Fixture News

Gallen: Strong Team For Cup Clash

Assistant manager looks ahead to AFC Wimbledon test

13 August 2018

Joe Gallen
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

There are two ways of looking at early round matches in cup competitions.

They can either be viewed as an unwelcome distraction or the chance to inject some more confidence into the squad.

Joe Gallen certainly holds the latter viewpoint as the Blues prepare to welcome AFC Wimbledon to Fratton Park in the Carabao Cup.

Pompey’s assistant manager admits the team may be tweaked, but has promised that a strong side will be picked.

He said: “It’s the next game and it’s at home, with fans paying money to watch us, so we won’t be thinking ahead to facing Oxford at the weekend.

“I’m sure there will be changes on both sides, but we’ll be putting out a strong team that we believe is capable of winning.

“The supporters will see a proper Pompey XI trying to get through to the next round of the competition.

"I’m sure there will be changes on both sides, but we’ll be putting out a strong team that we believe is capable of winning."

Joe Gallen

“If you keep on winning then confidence does build. It’s such a positive thing, so that’s what we’re looking to do again.

“Our opponents have an experienced squad and if you look through it then you’ll see plenty of decent players.

“It will be tough and if we want to progress then – as ever – we know we’re going to have to play really well.”

Pompey go into the game on the back of successive league victories and Gallen was pleased to see a more accomplished display at Blackpool last Saturday.

He said: “We didn’t perform anywhere near good enough on the ball in the first game against Luton, although we were delighted with the result.

“There was a lot for us to work on and then we tweaked the formation a bit at Blackpool to get a bit more control and put some more passes together.

“It wasn’t by any means perfect, but there was a definite improvement and we created a few decent chances.”

Conor Chaplin could make his first appearance of the season against the Dons after recovering from a hip problem.

Gallen said: “Dion Donohue has hurt his groin a bit and will be out for a few days, while Nathan Thompson won’t be involved, but Conor will be back in the squad.”

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