Gallen: Pompey striker will have bit between his teeth

JOE GALLEN believes Brett Pitman will return to Pompey's starting line-up with the bit between his teeth.Â

Monday, 13th August 2018, 6:24 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd September 2018, 10:04 pm
Brett Pitman. Picture: Ben Queenborough

The skipper looks set to spearhead the Blues' attack for their Carabao Cup first-round tie against AFC Wimbledon tonight.

Pitman was surprisingly axed from Kenny Jackett's side for Saturday's 2-1 victory at Blackpool '“ and was an unused substitute. 

Last season's 25-goal top scorer was also withdrawn at half-time in Pompey's opening-day success over Luton.

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Brett Pitman. Picture: Ben Queenborough

The striker has remained professional around the Blues' Roko training base, although he has been unhappy about losing his place to Oli Hawkins.

Regardless, Gallen insists the former Ipswich and AFC Bournemouth marksman will be determined to prove a point when the Dons visit Fratton Park (7.45pm).

The Pompey assistant boss said: '˜As we know, Brett will be desperate to start games or to come on and score.

'˜As soon as a centre-forward comes on and scores they're then thinking they'll be playing.

Oli Hawkins. Picture: Joe Pepler

'Brett is ready to play. He just wants to play and score. 

'˜If centre-forwards are not playing then they're not happy.

'˜All centre-forwards have that '“ Conor Chaplin is the same.

'Then when they are playing and not scoring then I'd say they're slightly happier.

'˜There's a catalogue of centre-forwards at other clubs who are all the same type of person.

'˜Some are slightly more extreme than the others but they're all the same. 

'˜But we want it to be that way. It has to be that way.

'˜You need it that way and it has to be that way as they need that edge.

'That's a good thing, though, because if it's the other way and they don't want to play then it's worse.'

Hawkins produced an impressive performance in the Blues triumph at Bloomfield Road at the weekend.

He provided both assists for Ronan Curtis either side of half-time.

Meanwhile, his physical presence caused problems for the Blackpool defence throughout. 

Gallen felt Hawkins needed to deliver in order to keep his starting spot, with Pitman and Conor Chaplin waiting in the wings.

'All round it was a good performance from him and it needed to be,' he added. 

'That's because you've got Brett thinking it's his starting place and where he plays in the team.

'˜Those two, along with Conor, are fighting for that shirt.'