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Fixture News

Gallen: Put The ‘If Onlys’ To Bed

Assistant manager on Accrington test and play-off preparations

2 May 2019

Joe Gallen
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Plenty of supporters were left thinking about what might have been following a dramatic defeat to Peterborough earlier in the week.

The result meant that Pompey can no longer catch Luton or Barnsley to secure an automatic promotion spot.

But there is still plenty at stake, with the play-offs coming up following Saturday’s final regular fixture against Accrington.

And Joe Gallen wants the Blues to be at their best to make sure they finish third in the League One standings.

Pompey’s assistant manager said: “There was a lot of disappointment on Tuesday night, but it’s fair to say we’re back to normal and getting ready for Saturday.

“I think we have to put ‘if only’ to bed – automatic promotion isn’t going to happen, but we’re in the play-offs and want to finish as high as possible.

“Third is the best we can do, so that’s what we want to achieve. There is an opportunity to freshen the side up, but only if that gives us a better chance of winning.

"Third is the best we can do, so that’s what we want to achieve."

Joe Gallen

“It’s not just about getting the game out of the way. We want to win it in front of a sell-out crowd at Fratton Park.

“Accrington have got very good technical footballers in their side and that makes them dangerous opponents.”

This weekend’s results will determine whether Pompey take on Sunderland, Charlton, Doncaster or Peterborough over two legs.

Gallen said: “The play-offs are exciting and there are always big atmospheres, but whoever we end up facing will be a very good side.

“I feel too much can be made of who you want to play. Come the day of the first game, I don’t think too many will want to face us.”

Viv Solomon-Otabor had a goal disallowed on Tuesday night after drifting into an offside position, but Gallen has backed the on-loan winger.

He said: “I still felt he made a really good impact when he came on and we’re delighted to have him back again.

“We really rate Viv as a player and he performed well before his injury. He can take players on and has a lot of ability.”

Pompey are close to having a full-strength squad to choose from, with Jack Whatmough the only absentee.

Gallen said: “Everyone who was fit on Tuesday night is still available and there’s nobody who has picked up an injury since.”


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