A huge game coming up on the back up of an embarrassing defeat away from home.
Burton were the Blues’ opponents prior to that Black Cats clash – with Cowley struggling to hide his disappointment with what had just unfolded at the Pirelli Stadium.
He, nevertheless, stuck with the same starting XI that let him down against the Brewers for the Sunderland game – and we all know what happened there!
Now, he must decide whether to use the same tactic for tonight’s game against the Tractor Boys, with the hurt experienced at Rotherham still raw.
Cowley has already indicated he may be tempted to switch back to a 4-2-3-1 formation in a bid to stem the flow of goals his side have been conceding in recent weeks – 12 in six games.
That would also match up with the formation Paul Cook is synonymous with – but evidence suggests it makes the Blues less threatening in forward areas.
As a result, Cowley certainly has a selection headache on his hands, one which hasn’t been helped by fringe players failing recent auditions to step into the first team.
But if he is persuaded to go with four at the back, how would the side look?
Well, here’s what we think he might for with...
1. Goalkeeper - Gavin Bazunu
The keeper's awful mistake against Rotherham opened the floodgates at the New York Stadium. But his position in the starting XI is not up for debate. Simple as. It's his team-mates who need to be nervous.
2. Right-back - Mahlon Romeo
Playing the on-loan Millwall wing-back at right-back takes away his obvious threat moving forward. But the alternative is playing Kieron Freeman there - and you get the sense the former Sheffield United ace could maybe do with a break after recent criticism operating in a back three. Paul Cook's full-backs like to get forward, so there'll still be plenty of room for Romeo to exploit down the right flank.
3. Centre-back 1 - Sean Raggett
Questions have rightly been asked over the quality of defending in recent games, but Raggett remains the one shining light. Injuries restrict Danny Cowley in what he can do in the centre of defence. And if Raggett were to pick up a niggle somewhere down the line, Cowley really would panic. It's definitely an area that needs looked at in January.
4. Centre-back 2 - Connor Ogilvie
The former Gillingham man had a steady but rather unspectacular start to his Pompey career before a recent injury forced him to sit out a run of games. Ogilvie made a difficult return to the team at Rotherham and doubts must be raised whether two games in quick succession is what's best for the player. But by reverting back to two centre-backs, he can concentrate on what's in front of him rather than who's also coming down the flank as a centre-back in a back three. It's a big call if Cowley does stick with Ogilvie rather than asking Williams to step back again.