JOE GALLEN sensed a pivotal moment in Pompey’s season as Oxford United were put to the sword.
The Blues moved to within two points of the play-offs and rose to eighth in League One with a 3-0 success over the U’s at Fratton Park.
The win was the first of 2018 on home soil, as Kenny Jackett’s men picked up back-to-back clean sheets in front of a crowd of 17,892 and the Sky cameras.
Home supporters sang the ‘we’re on our way’ chant which was the theme to the memorable finale last term which delivered the League Two title on the final day.
And Gallen could feel the vibrancy around the Blues’ home as impetus was injected into the campaign.
The Pompey assistant was delighted to hear belief flowing again and wants to see that momentum built on over the final eight games.
He said: ‘I’m just delighted to hear the crowd roar and cheers us like they did.
‘There felt like there was a bit of a momentum change.
‘This is a brilliant club with brilliant supporters.
‘If we can get a team out there they believe in, the support and encouragement you get from the stands is second to none.
‘It felt like we’ve got the crowd going again. Who knows what can happen?
‘We’re capable of getting on a run.
‘If we can get them believing, and I think that’s the case now, who knows where the season could end up?
‘Hearing the noise emanate from the stands told me the fans are believing in the team again. We felt that.
‘The crowd here are just waiting to go with the team.
‘But they need to see it. Like all crowds they need a spark, some quality from the players.
‘It goes off your centre-forwards normally and your attacking players. We’ve got Brett (Pitman) who’s got four in two, Jamal (Lowe) is playing well and Kal (Naismith) has come back strong.
‘I can sense the fans believing and I’m sure we’ll take a really healthy following to Walsall.’
Gallen noted the impact of having two experienced bodies returning to the fold in Nathan Thompson and Gareth Evans, with Oli Hawkins and Stuart O’Keefe set to follow.
He added: ‘We got some of our older, more experienced players back.
‘Brett has four goals in two games, Nathan Thompson has been training while suspended and came back into it well.
‘Stuart O’Keefe is training this week and Oli Hawkins is back. Gareth Evans came on and did fantastically well.
‘We could all feel as a staff the group and the spirit had picked up in training.
‘That has led on to us picking up this result.
‘We’ve got Walsall now. Is it a game we can win? Yes, but we need to play well. It’s a big game for us.
‘We’re not talking too much, but the fact is we can win the next game with the group of players we have.
‘There’s no predictions from me, but it’s there.’