Upbeat Danny Cowley eyes triple fitness boost as Portsmouth crisis set to finally ease this week

Pompey boss Danny Cowley can glimpse sunnier skies ahead, with the injury and illness crisis set to significantly ease.

Sunday, 12th December 2021, 4:55 am

The Blues boss is anticipating Joe Morrell, Lee Brown and, potentially, Clark Robertson to be back in full training this week.

In their ongoing absence, Cowley’s men defeated Morecambe 2-0 on Saturday to make it nine League One matches unbeaten.

That excellent run has occurred despite Pompey’s squad devastated by a sickness bug which has swept through their squad in the last fortnight.

In addition, a number of players have been sidelined by injury, with Paul Downing the latest to return to the squad on Saturday.

And Cowley believes more good news is on the horizon.

He told The News: ‘Hopefully we’ll have a few more back training this week and a few more back available, so we’ll be able to help the boys that are contributing at the moment.

‘Joe Morrell was able to do some light training on Friday and Saturday, so that’s a real positive for us.

Joe Morrell is expected to be available for selection for AFC Wimbledon following illness. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

‘I think the illness has taken it out of quite a few of them. Michael Jacobs was on the bench (against Morecambe), he looked like a ghost, really pale.

‘He did a little light training on Friday, we could have used him against Morecambe if we really needed him.

‘For the first half, he sat indoors and stayed in the warmth, watching the game in our office on the television. That is literally where we are out.

‘Lee Brown will definitely be back available. We didn’t think it was serious, it was just something which came, went and came back again, it’s hard to explain.

‘Clark Robertson should be training with us in the next 5-7 days as well. He’s on the grass and hopefully the medical team will hand him over sometime in that period, which will be a massive plus for us.’

However, Pompey still have Ryan Tunnicliffe, Louis Thompson, Liam Vincent and Jayden Reid missing through injury.

Cowley added: ‘It will be nice to have maybe 16 senior players to call on for next weekend because it has been a crazy period

‘But they all want to put their hand up, they all want to contribute and they want to help the team.

‘Regardless, the players deserve an immense amount of credit for finding a way to beat Morecambe.

‘That’s nine games unbeaten in as competitive a division as there is in world football. That’s a terrific effort.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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