First absence from football has given Pompey assistant boss new vigour

Joe Gallen, left, and Kenny Jackett. Picture: Colin Farmery
Joe Gallen, left, and Kenny Jackett. Picture: Colin Farmery
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett

Jackett: It’s showtime for Pompey

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JOE GALLEN is refreshed and hungry.

After an unbroken professional career in football, Pompey’s new assistant manager arrives at Fratton Park off the back of a six-month absence from the game.

That came after his departure from Rotherham along with new Blues boss, Kenny Jackett, at the end of November.

The break proved an alien concept for the 44-year-old after the day-to-day involvement for so long.

Gallen feels that has fired his appetite as he gets his foot back in the door with Pompey.

The former Exeter, Millwall and Wolves No2 admitted he had his eye on helping guide the Blues forward as soon as it appeared Paul Cook was on his way to Wigan.

The Londoner felt he and Jackett had to stay patient for the right opportunity to present itself.

He’s glad they did that and it paid off after their arrival at PO4.

Gallen said: ‘Everyone speaks very, very highly of Pompey and the area in general.

‘The training ground looks excellent and the area looks a lovely place to be.

‘I was very pleased when we got the call.

‘My eye was on the job when it looked like Paul was leaving.

‘I was hoping something would crop up and was delighted to have the offer.

‘I’m really delighted to come to a club like Pompey given the size of it, history, fanbase and passion.

‘It’s a lucky moment for me and I feel proud to be here.

‘I really am not too sure why me and Kenny work so well together.

‘But the basis is that we both love football and love coaching.

‘After Rotherham, it’s the first time I’ve had a bit of time away from football since I left school.

‘We are raring to go and I’m looking forward to it.’

Gallen and Jackett arrive with a strong standing in the game for the work they do on the training pitch.

The former Republic of Ireland under-21 international knows that has to be married to making the right recruitment moving forward.

There’s work to do on that front at Pompey with obvious gaps across the squad at present.

Getting those key areas right are going to be big factors.

Previous knowledge of League One – and being successful across that terrain is a big benefit in Gallen’s mind.

He said: ‘The work we are best at is done on the training ground and on a match day.

‘Those are the key areas. You enjoy winning games the most, so we have to work hard out on the training pitch.

‘Our aim is to recruit well, get the coaching right and produce a team the fans are proud of and want to come and see.

‘We do know League One well and that gives us belief and confidence we can do it again.

‘A lot of work goes in on the training ground and recruitment.

‘We love coaching and working with players but, ultimately, the whole thing is driven about being successful.’