Portsmouth expect Gillingham to raise their game - regardless of crowd size

Joe Gallen is expecting Gillingham to raise their game at Pompey – regardless of the Fratton Park crowd size. 

The Blues start their Checkatrade Trophy campaign against Steve Lovell’s side tonight (7.45pm). 

Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler

Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler

The competition is much-maligned by the majority of the Fratton faithful, with many choosing to boycott the games in protest.

Last season, crowds for group-stage matches against Fulham under-21s and Crawley were barely more than 1,500 apiece.

Nevertheless, it’s a game Gallen insists Pompey are taking seriously.

And although he’s unsure if the Gills will ring the changes, the assistant manager believes it will be a good test for the Blues.

‘Any team coming to Fratton Park raise their game – in front of a huge crowd or in front of a small crowd,’ said Gallen. 

‘Gillingham have got some good players and are a very established League One side.

‘Tom Eaves scores goals and has always been a handful for defences in League One and League Two.

‘(They have) Max Ehmer and Josh Parker – there is a list of recognisable players we are going to come up against.

‘Maybe they are going to make some changes, maybe they’re not going to make some changes. Who knows?

‘But we’re going to put out a strong side ourselves and are looking for a good performance and a win.’