The versatility which is giving Portsmouth confidence for Oxford United showdown

Pompey’s swathe of options has been pinpointed as a cause for optimism going into the play-offs.

Monday, 22nd June 2020, 7:00 am

Blues assistant manager Joe Gallen believes the depth of Kenny Jackett’s squad is breeding confidence as they prepare to play Oxford United.

Jackett used all of the players at his disposal as his team picked up a 1-1 warm-up draw at Championship promotion hopefuls Brentford yesterday.

And after emerging from the game with a clean bill of health, Gallen can sense confidence amid the Pompey players.

He told ‘Brentford had two sets of 11 players, but we feel the same about us.

‘We have a team with another 11 behind and it’s pretty close between them all.

‘As things stand everyone is fit so there’s a lot of choices we’ve got and a lot of different ways that we can go.

‘That’s building belief among the players and also the staff that hopefully we can have a strong three games.

Joe Gallen

‘Come the week of the game we’ll have a clear idea of where it is.

‘The team is forming and you can see a team developing who will more than likely take on Oxford in the first game anyway.

‘These tests can go wrong and be negative or positive and there can be injuries.

‘But we’ve got a lot of backup in all the positions and that gives us a lot of belief.’

Pompey used all of the players Jackett currently has at his disposal at Griffin Park.

And in the process the coaching staff looked at different formations with next month’s crucial showdown with the U’s in mind.

Gallen added: ‘For us it was good to put out two teams in the game and have a look at a number of formations for what is going to be a big game in a couple of weeks.

‘We‘ve worked extensively on aspects of our game extensively and we’ve been really pleased with how we’ve performed in what has been two tough tests.

‘Reading have spent quite of a lot of money on their team. We played pretty well there and really well here against top-class opposition.

‘I think the confidence of that builds within the players, within themselves and the different systems we’re trying.

‘It gives us plenty of belief we can go a number of different ways come the play-off game against Oxford.’

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