Gallen: Let's carry momentum of Pompey title win into opener

IT WAS a day of drama and euphoria now etched in Fratton folklore.

Thursday, 22nd June 2017, 8:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:47 am
The Pompey players celebrate winning the League Two title on the final day of the 2016-17 season following their 6-1 win against Cheltenham Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey’s rise to become League Two champions on the final day at Fratton Park against Cheltenham on May 6 will not be forgotten.

And new assistant manager Joe Gallen is hoping the momentum of the special occasion can be carried over into the new season’s curtain-raiser against Rochdale.

That’s how the Blues will begin the new campaign in League One on August 5.

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Gallen is calling on Pompey supporters to begin the new term in the same vein as the last one ended – with riotous backing on their own patch.

Kenny Jackett’s No2 admitted he was pleased to see the new management team’s era will begin on home soil. That was the standout news he took from the Football League’s release of fixtures on Wednesday morning.

And Gallen would love to see the impetus carried over from the day of title victory.

He said: ‘My reaction is I was pretty pleased that we are at home first game.

‘The first game of the season is an exciting day.

‘I think we can capitalise on last season and the fact we’re a championship-winning team.

‘I think that’s something we can make the most of.

‘If you’d asked me beforehand I would’ve said I’d love the first game at home.

‘That’s just so we can carry on the feeling from the end of the season.

‘I wasn’t there but I’ve seen the pictures and I can sense the feeling of the day.

‘If we can bring that feeling and sense of support we can use it as momentum.

‘We want to keep what was going on from what happened at the end of last season.’

The release of the fixtures is always a day circled in the diary of supporters, as they digest what lies ahead over the nine months of the season.

Gallen admitted he struggles to get quite as worked up as some do.

And the 44-year-old even joked he knows little of the games ahead for his club, even after the fixtures’ release.

He said: ‘I understand the clamour from fans, but I don’t quite see it myself.

‘My view is we have to play them all twice anyway.

‘The first game is always interesting. Apart from that, and the fact Oxford isn’t too far away in the second game there’s not much else of interest.

‘I’m not even sure who we’ve got after those first two games if I’m honest!’