Danny Cowley lifts lid on ex-Leyton Orient man Roberto Gagliardi's Portsmouth achievements - and his involvement in identifying a successor

Danny Cowley will be granted a say in appointing Pompey’s next head of football operations.

Thursday, 17th February 2022, 4:30 pm

Cowley was previously involved in choosing Jez George as Lincoln’s head of football in May 2018, going on to become the Imps’ director of football.

He also worked under Dave Webb at Huddersfield who, as head of football operations, was involved in Cowley’s September 2019 appointment as manager.

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Certainly the Blues head coach has extensive experience of working alongside such a position within a football club.

And he will be given his say by chief executive Andy Cullen on Gagliardi’s replacement.

Cowley told The News: ‘I believe we will be involved in appointing Roberto’s replacement, although I don’t want to put words into other peoples’ mouths.

‘We worked with Jez George at Lincoln in the role, he was outstanding, and I fought really hard to get him in.

Danny Cowley will have a say in Roberto Gagliardi's successor at Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘We were doing well and Lincoln were growing and growing and growing, we had so much ambition for the Academy.

‘I just needed more support. When you are the manager, you can’t get very operational because, invariably, you get a game every 3-4 days and sometimes can’t see the wood through the trees.

‘At Huddersfield we had Dave Webb, who was a key person in appointing us.

‘Myself and Andy are a new relationship, but I have loved working with him.

‘We are completely aligned with how we want the club to work in terms of where we see it today, where we see the vision, and also the processes to try to achieve that.

‘Ultimately, the next appointment will be a club decision – and I’m sure I will be involved in it.’

Meanwhile, Cowley has explained the input of Gagliardi.

The ex-Lincoln boss’ arrival at Pompey in March 2021, coincided with the Italian’s promotion from head of European scouting to interim head of football operations.

He added: ‘Roberto led a big role in recruitment, that’s certainly where his previous experiences were and a huge focus to him, particularly with where we were as a football club, with much work to do in that area.

‘We also have a partnership with the Cayman Islands and Roberto went out there to look at their football facilities and football provisions to see the suitability of that for a future pre-season.

‘We are still in the process of digesting the report Roberto put together and deciding what our best pathway is.

‘He also had a role structuring last pre-season and what we term as ‘bounce games’, which are behind closed doors and help us integrate our Academy players with first-team players not playing on a regular basis.

‘We thank Roberto for his efforts, he was always hard working and worked with energy and enthusiasm. We’ll miss him.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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