A football thinker with attention to detail and precision - how former Lincoln and Huddersfield boss will operate at Portsmouth

Danny Cowley is a football thinker who will operate with a ‘military’ attention to detail.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 10:54 am
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 11:13 am

And the new Pompey boss’ reputation for direct football is one that doesn’t do his precision approach to the game any justice.

That’s the view of Hawks man, Paul Doswell, whose relationship with Kenny Jackett’s incoming successor stretches back almost 15 years to his time as an emerging coach at Concord Rangers.

Doswell gave a glowing endorsement of Cowley’s suitability to assume the Fratton hot seat and the demanding standards he operates to.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He said: ‘I really can’t talk highly enough of Danny in the way he goes about his work and attention to detail.

‘In the early days he would ring me up and wanted a lot of advice - he always wanted to learn.

‘I know Portsmouth is a big club, but so was Lincoln in the context of where they were.

‘He had the pressure there of 11,000 people in that ground and he pushed the club on incredibly well.

Incoming Pompey boss Danny Cowley (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

‘He needs this to work, that’s fair to say, after leaving Lincoln and going to Huddersfield.

‘But this is a great opportunity for both parties.

‘If Danny is successful, it’s good for Portsmouth but also for Danny himself.

Hawks boss Paul Doswell. Photo by Dave Haines

‘It’s a big job and a very demanding support base in a good way, but it can also be a bad way if you’re not doing the business. Danny can handle that.

‘As a person, he’s a top lad. He’s a thinker and his brother is a thinker.

‘They are almost military style in how hard they work and how organised they are.’

Cowley’s decision to leave the classroom behind and embark on a journey in football management gives an insight into his character, according to Doswell.

But the former Sutton United manager believes being labelled a long-ball merchant doesn’t do the 42-year-old justice.

He said: ‘Danny was a PE teacher at the local school. I don’t think for one minute back then he’d think the opportunity to manage Portsmouth would present itself.

‘You have to take your hat off to him, though. He gave up a secure and successful job to go into the madness of football management. That takes a certain type of person and there’s certainly some bravery and guts in there as well.

‘When they were at Lincoln, they knew how to get out of leagues - as I did at Sutton.

‘He’ll take an approach based on the hand he’s given.

‘They had a system in play at Lincoln where they had Matt Rhead as their centre forward, who is a 6ft 4in lump.

‘So he won every header and they went for flick-ons and second balls. It was percentage football. Danny wouldn’t be embarrassed to say that.

‘He looks at percentages and is a very intelligent guy.

‘Danny’s far from a long-ball manager, though.

‘His work is done with precision and his approach will be well thought out.

‘It won’t be Manchester City football, but you don’t win League One playing Manchester City football. It’s horses for courses - and I think it’s a great appointment.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

The News has launched a subscription offer which gives you unlimited access to all of our Pompey coverage, starting at less than 14p a day.

You can subscribe here to get the latest news from Fratton Park - and to support our local team of expert Pompey writers.