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Fixture News

The Kids Are Alright

Gallen trusts youngsters to shine against Blackpool

22 February 2018

Pompey midfielders Ben Close and Adam May

It was a youthful Pompey side that secured victory over Fleetwood on Tuesday evening.

The average age of the starting 11 at Highbury Stadium was just over 22, with Christian Burgess the oldest at 26.

A relative lack of experience did not hold them back, however, with a 2-1 triumph reigniting play-off hopes.

And with the Blues still beset by injuries and Nathan Thompson’s suspension, Joe Gallen has backed the youngsters to come good again when Blackpool visit the south coast this weekend.

Pompey’s assistant manager said: “We don’t have too many fit players here, but we’ve been impressed with the ones we do have available.

“We’re excited about the young group that played on Tuesday evening because they showed so much spirit.

"It says a lot about the character and quality they had, although that was one game and now we see if they can do it again."

Joe Gallen

“They performed very well and we’d be delighted if we had everyone fit and they played a similar way at Fleetwood.

“It says a lot about the character and quality they had, although that was one game and now we see if they can do it again.

“Guys like Jez Bedford and Theo Widdrington have been out on loan, although we see them on a daily basis in training and know what they can do.

“If they did have to come into the team then I don’t see why they also wouldn’t give it everything they’ve got.”

Pompey face a Blackpool side sitting just three points above the relegation places, despite being unbeaten in their past four games.

Gallen said: “There are a lot of players we know who have played at a higher level or been around the League One scene for a number of years.

“It’s going to tough even if they are down at the bottom because they will be fighting for their futures.

“So we’ll acknowledge their threats, but not get too hung-up about them. We just want to get on the ball and put on a winning performance.”

Pompey can call upon Kal Naismith after the forward recovered from a groin injury, but Gareth Evans and Brett Pitman are still out with hamstring problems.

Gallen said: “Kal trained today, which is really good news for us. He’s back in the squad and available for selection again.

“I think Gareth will be out for longer than Brett, but we have to make sure they’re both totally ready before bringing them back.”

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