How Portsmouth’s winner at Bradford was straight off the training ground

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It was something Pompey had been working on ahead of Saturday’s trip to Bradford.

And Kenny Jackett’s men reaped the dividends as it yielded the only goal of the game.

Gareth Evan selebrates with Ronan Curtis after netting Pompey's winner at Bradford. Picture: Daniel Chesterton

Gareth Evan selebrates with Ronan Curtis after netting Pompey's winner at Bradford. Picture: Daniel Chesterton

Gareth Evans’ 12th-minute winner stretched the Blues’ lead at the summit of the League One table to three points.

Ronan Curtis conjured up the goal. He skipped past Bantams right-back Ryan McGowan before picking out Pompey’s captain, whose close-range shot found the roof of the net.

In training before the visit to Valley Parade, Joe Gallen revealed the Blues had been working with Curtis.

Their message to the former Derry City winger was to beat his man on the outside rather than cutting onto his favoured right foot.

The assistant manager was impressed how Curtis weaved his way to the by-line and cut a ball back into the danger area. 

And he hailed the composure displayed by Evans, who netted his fifth goal of the campaign.

Gallen said: ‘It was an excellent finish from Gareth.

‘Ronan did well for it to go on the outside of his man and use his left foot.

‘That is something we have been wanting him to do this week and we worked with him on it this week in training.

‘He did it great and Gareth times his runs great from the number 10 position.

‘He’s got a very good centre-forward instinct, really, and the finish with his side foot was like what a classic centre-forward would do.

‘Some other players would slash at it and send it over the bar.

‘But he took his body weight off the ball and was able to stroke it side footed.

‘It was a class centre-forward finish.’

Pompey’s 11th victory of the season – and seventh on the road – sent them further clear at the top of the table. 

Peterborough slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Wycombe Wanderers, meaning they dropped to third. 

Sunderland moved up to second following a 2-0 victory at Plymouth Argyle.

Sitting on 38 points after 17 games, the Blues continue their march towards promotion into the Championship.

Gallen takes plenty of encouragement from the tally Jackett’s men have recorded so far this campaign.

But he has warned Pompey that they can’t take their foot off the gas – and insisted they must continue their impressive form.

The assistant boss added: ‘We’re top and the points total so far really should give us a lot of confidence and belief going forward.

‘In this division, you kind of have to maintain the winning run. 

‘To get into the top two or top six, you need a high number of points. 

‘If we feel we want to be involved in the top six then we will need to get a high number of points.’

Read more… Neil Allen’s match report