N’Gala: Dale response was perfect

Bondz N'Gala. Picture: Joe Pepler
Bondz N'Gala. Picture: Joe Pepler

Guy Whittingham has continually reminded his players of the York shambles since the toe-curling performance occurred.

And for Bondz N’Gala the response against Rochdale was the ‘perfect’ way to bounce back.

Now Pompey’s two-goal hero is seeking to build on that and embark on a positive run – starting with Oxford tonight.

The Blues visit the Kassam Stadium (7.45pm) in the second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

There are likely to be several changes to the side who defeated the Dale 3-0 on Saturday as Whittingham seeks to rotate his squad.

Regardless, Pompey will be striving to continue burying that Bootham Crescent debacle which prompted so much anger from management and fans alike.

And N’Gala is calling for a repeat of the impressive Rochdale showing.

He said: ‘Saturday was a fantastic reaction.

‘We didn’t hear the end of York from the gaffer and we still haven’t heard the end of it so we have to carry on producing good performances.

‘York was embarrassing and we were happy to put that right against Rochdale.

‘The gaffer talked about it all week, we watched the video and I hope we have learned from those mistakes.

‘There was nothing different in the preparation for Saturday.

‘We spoke about it, the gaffer lifted the spirits, he was brilliant as usual and got us going again.

‘You know it was bad. To concede four goals anywhere, at home or away, is not good enough, so we were happy with the Rochdale result.

‘We hope York was very much a freak result and will never happen again.

‘We recovered from it well on Saturday and now we have to kick on from there.

‘It was definitely the perfect way to bounce back.’

Whittingham made five changes to the team who performed so badly at Bootham Crescent, several of them enforced through injury.

However, bolstered by newcomers Trevor Carson and Thery Racon, the Blues picked up their third league win of the season and only a second league clean sheet.

They comfortably dealt with a Rochdale side who hadn’t dropped a point in September and whose boss, Keith Hill, had days earlier been awarded the division’s manager of the month.

It was a much-needed victory in terms of progress and also lifted Fratton spirits, with Pompey having slipped to 12th in League Two.

N’Gala was the goal hero with two in the second half – both headers from pinpoint Ricky Holmes right-wing corners.

And he believes the 3-0 result was no more than the hosts deserved from a dominant display.

‘It was resolute, everyone worked hard,’ said N’Gala.

‘I think we looked pretty comfortable.

‘We have some good players in the side, the gaffer has built a good team and I think we are starting to come together now and hopefully can build on this win.

‘We definitely could have won by a few more. I could have had a hat-trick but four goals for us would have been outlandish.

‘I am happy we did well.’