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Fixture News

Gallen: A Pleasing Afternoon

Assistant manager pleased with Pompey's work-rate at Rochdale

23 November 2019

Pompey celebrate a goal from Ronan Curtis at Rochdale
Photo: Daniel Chesterton

Pompey continued their steady climb up the League One standings with a convincing victory at Rochdale.

Ronan Curtis maintained his fine form with a goal in each half, while Ryan Williams added a late third to give the scoreline a gloss.

Their opponents had dominated possession without looking pretty threatening, while the Blues produced a clinical display.

And Joe Gallen was delighted with a performance that showcased both their finishing and grafting qualities.

Pompey’s assistant manager said: “We’ve won away from, scored three goals – and could have got even more – and kept a clean sheet, so that’s all pleasing.

“It was a very good away-day for us and there were times where we had to sit in and defend against a side who were very offensive.

"All the boys have understood the work-rate that’s needed to represent this club."

Joe Gallen

“But we felt that if we could catch them on the break, then we’d be able to create quite a few chances – and that’s the way it worked in the second half.

“The manager made a tactical change that helped. John Marquis had been playing behind Ellis Harrison and moved up beside him.

“It was only a 10 or 12-yard difference, but it helped us to intercept and break better, with more potency.

“All the boys have understood the work-rate that’s needed to represent this club. You have to play above yourselves.

“Thankfully, Ronan and the rest of the team have come up to that level we’ve been asking for. The attitude was fantastic and I’m looking forward to seeing the running stats.”

Oli Hawkins came into the back four, making his first appearance for two months after recovering from a foot injury.

Gallen said: “We’re a big fan of Oli and win a lot of games when he’s in the team. With John, Ellis and Brett all in the squad, we thought about using him as a centre-half again.

“The manager and I both believe in him as a player and person – and the important thing is he believes that as well.

“I get the feeling that if he gets an injury-free run, he can really help us because he’s excellent in both boxes.

“He hit the bar for us and headed so much away for us defensively, while his distribution and composure was great.”

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