Joe Gallen: No Portsmouth mourning – it’s business as normal in promotion pursuit

Joe Gallen declared business as usual as promotion focus readjusts to the play-offs.

Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 6:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 6:58 pm
Oliver Hawkins at the final whistle following Pompey's 3-2 defeat at the hands of Peterborough on Tuesday night Robin Jones.

Pompey’s assistant manager is adamant the players have swiftly banished Tuesday night’s heartbreak inflicted by Peterborough.

With automatic promotion handed over to Luton and Barnsley with a match to spare, the Blues yesterday returned to training pursuing an alternative route into the Championship.

Gallen insists there has been no poring over the agony of failing to reach League One’s top two.

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Oliver Hawkins at the final whistle following Pompey's 3-2 defeat at the hands of Peterborough on Tuesday night Robin Jones.

Instead of mournful reflection, attention has been fixed soley upon Saturday’s final league match against Accrington.

And Gallen believes looking ahead can aid Pompey’s play-off campaign.

He said: ‘You are trying to get automatic promotion, you get really close and it doesn’t quite happen, yet there’s more games to come, so quickly you get your head around it.

‘That's where we are, that’s what we are doing.

‘There were no “If onlys” from the players yesterday morning. Supporters were around watching training and talking about “If only” and such and such, but it’s done now, we’ve got the next game now.

‘There was no (special) talk. We spoke to every single player about the game quickly and then moved on. Basically just a chat.

‘It was a normal Thursday morning, we didn’t do too much, the players know what’s at stake, where we want to go and what we want to achieve.

‘I think they will be fine. It’s the next game, 45 matches have gone and there is another to go. We lost on Tuesday, fine, there’s a game on Saturday, it’s onto the next.

‘We could have won Tuesday night and done exactly the same thing on Thursday, exactly the same thing on Friday, it will just be the same thing,

‘Nothing different, we haven’t had to pick anyone up or anything like that at all. As professionals, there’s another game to play and it's at home – and we want to win.’

Victory over Accrington would earn Kenny Jackett’s men League One’s third spot.

In turn, they would booked into a two-legged play-off semi-final with either Doncaster or Peterborough.

What’s more, the second leg would be held at Fratton Park.

Gallen added: ‘I’m looking forward to Saturday and winning.

‘We know where we are and what we have to do, so can get organised.

‘We believe we have a good team, good players and can have a strong finish – and we do need a strong finish, in terms of this game and the play-offs games.

‘We need a strong ending and I feel we have that within us.’