Joe Gallen reveals reasons behind Ronan Curtis' new Portsmouth striking role

Joe Gallen has lifted the lid on why Ronan Curtis was granted a striking role against Oxford United.

Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 6:30 am
Ronan Curtis challenges Robert Atkinson after being handed striking duties in last night's 1-0 win at Oxford United. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.

The Irishman was pushed up front at the Kassam Stadium alongside Ellis Harrison, with John Marquis dropping to the bench.

According to Gallen, it was Kenny Jackett’s decision to employ Curtis in a central attacking role.

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And it’s a decision he believes paid off handsomely.

Gallen told The News: ‘Kenny picked the team and the players and the formation – and he wanted to go back to what he calls 4-4-2.

‘Really, with Michael Jacobs out, sometimes that hasn’t worked out for us and putting Ronan up front has a freshness, a lot of physicality about it, while he has proven he’s a good goalscorer

‘I thought Ronan and Ellis had a right go, made some good runs, were physical, held the ball up and caused a lot of problems.

‘They were a very good outlet for the team, they wanted to pass the ball to them quickly, to their feet and pass the ball behind them.

‘I thought Ronan did very well.’

The Blues’ management must now weigh up whether to retain Curtis in the role for Gillingham on Saturday.

Or possibly well beyond that as they seek to kickstart their faltering automatic promotion bid.

Gallen added: ‘If you ask Ronan, he wants to play there, we just have to work out whether he is capable of playing there on a consistent basis.

‘It’s quite difficult actually to just become a centre-forward, but he does have the right attributes and he does have the right personality – I wouldn’t put it past him.’

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