Gallen: Confident Curtis is Pompey force of nature

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Football League rookie Ronan Curtis’ conviction and confidence is proving compelling.

Certainly, Joe Gallen hasn’t come across many possessing as much self-belief as the summer recruit from Derry.

Pompey winger Ronan Curtis Picture: Joe Peper

Pompey winger Ronan Curtis Picture: Joe Peper

So much for taking time to adjust to the English game, Curtis has made a whirlwind impact at Fratton Park since his first friendly kick.

With three goals and two assists from his opening five matches, the forward has effortlessly met those early expectations.

The latest star turn was an 86th-minute winner against Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night in a fourth-straight League One victory.

Gallen is not surprised about the youngster’s remarkable entrance – for the 22-year-old doesn’t lack self-assurance.

In-form Curtis celebrates his late winner against Bristol Rovers.  Picture: Joe Pepler

In-form Curtis celebrates his late winner against Bristol Rovers. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey’s assistant boss said: ‘Ronan is such a confident person, probably one of the most confident young players I have ever seen, I have to say that.

‘Nothing fazes him, nothing gets him down.

‘The other night, you would normally think that once the penalty incident happens to a younger player making his way then he is probably going to go under.

‘But Ronan is a bit of a force of nature really, he doesn’t think anything can stop him.

‘For him to react like that and keep his head, anticipate the flick from Brett and then show his composure to score was a great moment for him.

‘That’s three goals for us and two assists, he’s doing great.’

Pompey had to fight off interest from Reading to land Curtis in May for an undisclosed fee.

In the process he became Kenny Jackett’s first summer recruit during a squad-strengthening procedure designed to challenge for promotion.

Curtis has started all four of the Blues’ league fixtures, operating either up front or wide on the left.

Gallen added: ‘There are goals for him, especially coming in off the left-hand side from the wing and gambling off flicks.

‘He is not quite someone who stays on the wing and tries to get in a cross left-footed, he’s very right-footed and wants to drive towards the goal.

‘Three goals is a pretty good return so far, he took it well against Bristol Rovers. I know there was a deflection which took ages to go in, but who cares?’