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Gallen Pleased To Start At Home

Assistant boss looking forward to Shrewsbury clash

24 August 2020

Joe Gallen
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Pompey will be starting their League One campaign against Shrewsbury for a second season in succession.

Friday’s fixture reveal ensured Kenny Jackett’s side would be beginning on home soil, as well as having Fratton dates on Boxing Day and the final weekend.

For now, though, Joe Gallen insists that opening contest is the only thing for the Blues squad to focus on.

And after going the whole of the previous league season unbeaten on the south coast, he hopes they can come tearing out of the blocks.

Pompey’s assistant manager said: “The only game we really concentrate on is the first one and it’s nice that we’ll be starting at Fratton Park.

“I know the fans will be looking ahead to other matches later in the season, but we don’t really focus too far ahead.

“It unfortunately looks like they won’t be there to watch it, but it’s still nice for us to be playing at home.

“Our form there has been really impressive for quite some time now and so we do always feel confident.

“We do understand, though, that our opponents are going to be up for it and ensure that it’s a tough game for us.

"The only game we really concentrate on is the first one and it’s nice that we’ll be starting at Fratton Park."

Joe Gallen

“It’s obviously the second season in a row that we’re beginning against Shrewsbury – although it was away last year.

“We didn’t get off to the best of starts back then – losing 1-0 – and so hopefully we can do better this time.”

The delayed start to the season means that there are going to be plenty of midweek games to negotiate.

Gallen said: “We’ve probably played more Saturdays-Tuesdays than anyone in recent years, so it’s probably not going to be too different for us.

“The volume of matches means that you have to get things right in training and do your best to keep players fit, recovering well in between them.

"Not picking up injuries is going to be key for every team this season and that’s why you have to make the most of your squad.”

Pompey’s first competitive fixture is a Carabao Cup tie at Stevenage next weekend, while they then find themselves in EFL Trophy action.

Gallen said: “It’s a game we obviously want to win – and it will be the same against Colchester a few days later – but the league is always our priority.”

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