Pompey assistant not getting carried away

Pompey assistant manager Joe Gallen. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey assistant manager Joe Gallen. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ronan Curtis. Picture: Lorcan Doherty

Curtis aiming for the Championship with Pompey

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Joe Gallen has refused to get carried away by Pompey’s league position.

The Blues assistant manager’s aim is to be in the top 10 come March – as he knows anything can happen from there.

Kenny Jackett’s troops currently sit seventh in the League One table – and are only outside the play-offs on goal difference.

Yet Gallen is remaining grounded and hopes to be around the top six come the business end of the season.

He believes if Pompey hit a run of form in the final two months of the campaign then they can end up in the play-offs.

Gallen said: ‘I always said we were going to wait until February and March and see where we are.

‘You can be mid-table in January and still get on a good run.

‘When we went up with Millwall we were nowhere in November – 12th or 14th.

‘If someone asked me where we would finish then I would have said we wouldn’t do too much – yet we ended up finishing third and went on a hell of a run in the second half of that season.

‘You can get to January in 12th and still go on a run – we should have got automatic promotion with Millwall.

‘When you do our job, things can change. I’ve been fifth in the Championship and stayed up on the last day of the season.

‘What I would take in March is to be in the top 10 because, from there, something can happen.’

Pompey have a tough run of fixtures in January.

They welcome high-flying Shrewsbury Town to Fratton Park, as well as fourth-placed Scunthorpe United.

The Blues also face a tricky trip to eighth-placed Rotherham United.

Nevertheless, Gallen is targeting victories against the teams above Pompey in the division.

Jackett’s trusted lieutenant insists that wins in those games could see the league positions change fairly quickly.

He added: ‘As the season goes on, six-pointers and those sort of words get mentioned and it’s disappointing we didn’t get any points at Shrewsbury and close the gap.

‘However, there are opportunities coming up – we play them again at the end of January and also have Rotherham and Scunthorpe coming up.

‘Let’s see if we can get into those games with a good number of points and beat those teams – then that position could change pretty quickly.’

– WILL ROONEY