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Fixture News

A Game Of Two Halves

Gallen reflects on Scunthorpe draw

13 January 2018

It is one of football’s oldest clichés.

But Joe Gallen believes that Pompey’s 1-1 draw against Scunthorpe at Fratton Park was a prime example of a ‘game of two halves’.

The hosts impressed before the break and Jamal Lowe celebrated his new contract with a sharp finish to open the scoring.

It was their fellow promotion hopefuls who were dominant after it, though, and Kevin van Veen’s strike ensured the contest would end all squad.

Gallen was understandably upset that the Blues could not hold on for the victory, although he admitted a draw was the fair outcome.

Pompey’s assistant manager said: “It was probably the old game of two halves because we played really well before the break.

“Jamal hadn’t found the net since the Fleetwood match in September and he fancies himself as a goalscorer.

"It was disappointing to concede early, but overall I felt it was a well-earned point for both teams."

Joe Gallen

“When you don’t do that your confidence can drop, but he took the ball in his stride really well and it was a clinical finish from him.

“Connor Ronan played very well in the middle of the pitch and that didn’t surprise me because he’s a natural footballer with a good brain.

“Another goal would have really helped us and perhaps our performance against a strong Scunthorpe side deserved that.

“We expected them to come at us in the second half and it was disappointing to concede early, but overall I felt it was a well-earned point for both teams.

“It should give everyone belief that we can go toe-to-toe with the best sides in this division and I feel we can beat anyone here.”

Pompey surprised some supporters by lining up in a 3-4-1-2 system, with Nathan Thompson impressing in a holding midfield role.

Gallen explained: “The thinking behind it was that with several midfielders out injured, we just felt we could do with an extra body in that area.

“We wanted to help Ronan and Close, and Nathan has played a few games there before. I felt he did very well.

“I don’t see why we can’t play that system again and there are always times throughout the season when you have to be flexible.

“Everybody has opinions, but it’s the manager who has to make the decisions and I thought he made some good ones.”

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