‘I wouldn’t accuse him of being lazy’ - Coventry expert defends Portsmouth's ex-Nottingham Forest, Lincoln and Bolton striker Tyler Walker’s demeanour and backs Danny Cowley can unleash ‘prolific striker’

Tyler Walker’s current Pompey demeanour won’t come as a surprise to those acquainted with his Coventry performances.

By Sam Cox
Thursday, 24th February 2022, 2:30 pm

That’s the view of Coventry Telegraph sports writer Andy Turner, who provided a lowdown on the Fratton Park loanee’s time at his parent club.

But the Sky Blues expert has come to the forward’s defence, despite revealing the 25-year-old has faced similar criticism during his time at the Championship club.

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Here’s what he told The News about the forward’s time at the Ricoh Arena – and his assessment of Walker’s PO4 spell so far.

‘Walker clearly works hard and I wouldn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, accuse him of being lazy. But I think there are just certain strikers and players (who appear that way).

‘Coventry had a striker in the Premier League called Jay Bothroyd back in the late 1990s, who they took from Arsenal. Jay was incredibly technically gifted and could do all kinds of things with a football and he did get the occasional goal.

‘He wasn’t particularly prolific as he was only young, but what he did have was this languished demeanour, so he looked, from the outside looking in, to many supporters that he wasn’t working that hard on the pitch.

Tyler Walker is yet to score for Pompey following his January loan move from Coventry. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

‘Now whether that’s a case with Tyler Walker or not, is something I don’t know.

‘You have to ask, when things aren’t going well for a striker, what else are they bringing to the team?. Are they running and chasing and really making themselves a nuisance? Are they bringing others into play? How else are they contributing?

‘If they’re not then that needs to be addressed. Fans did accuse him perhaps of not working as hard as others while he was at Coventry.

Danny Cowley will know how to get the best out of him and will know him the best out of everybody – having spent time with him at Lincoln.

‘He’ll know exactly how Walker functions and how to get the best out of him. Whether that’s changing the style of play slightly to bring him into the game more, I don’t know.

‘That’s the conundrum Danny faces. Players don’t become bad over night, so there is something in there somewhere, it’s just a case of bringing it out.

‘Whether it’s a combination of getting his confidence back and putting an arm around his shoulder, I don’t know. Hopefully he will, because he’s a smashing kid.

‘Hopefully, it will work out for him because he’s at a bit of a crossroads in his career because the idea was for him to go to Pompey and get confidence and goals and come back to Coventry and kick on again.

‘If things do continue in this way, there will be questions over his Coventry future, no doubt.

‘He needs to get his career back up and running, really for himself and his own career.

‘I am a little surprised, if I’m honest, because I thought going to Pompey and working, in particular, with Danny Cowley would be perfect for him at this stage in the season.

‘I would imagine Walker’s confidence to be pretty low, certainly from the outside, it looks that way. He struggled to get going at Coventry, but there are mitigating circumstances towards that.

‘The Sky Blues have had Vicktor Gyokeres on fire and Matty Godden then came back to form when he reached full fitness, and Tyler fell down the pecking order.

‘Although he was used in bits and bobs and off the bench, he did get a run when there were injuries. But most of the time, Coventry played with one striker.

‘Going to Pompey, as what looked like, one of the main men up front, and knowing Danny Cowley so well, and vice versa, I thought with an arm around his shoulder, he would get the best out of him.’

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