Danny Cowley on the rivalry between Portsmouth and Southampton amid Jake Hesketh trial

Danny Cowley says he's well aware of the rivalry between Pompey and Southampton after taking Jake Hesketh on trial.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 4:56 am

Hesketh has featured in both friendlies against QPR and the Hawks, while he's travelled with the squad for this week's training camp at St George's Park.

Hesketh, who has also attracted rival League One interest, played for Pompey s foes from under-nine level until his release at the end of last season.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

Jake Hesketh trains while on trial at Pompey. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

Cowley insists he wants to embrace the competition between the south-coast outfits after taking the PO4 helm in March.

And should the head coach look to hand Hesketh a deal, he'll first gauge the sentiment of the Fratton faithful before making a decision.

Cowley said: ‘I think, for us, we are proud of this club and our island.

‘I like rivalry. I think it's a good thing, it drives the standards.

‘The people of Portsmouth are focused enough on our club doing well and that's what they want.

‘They want us to do well and what we have to do is make some intelligent decisions.

‘What I will always remember is this football club is the people's club and will never make decisions that will upset them. Ultimately, they are what this club stands for.

‘We know about the rivalary, we respect the rivalry - I actually embrace the rivalry.

‘What we need to do is get closer to them in the division so we can make it a more competitive one.’

He also left the Premier League outfit at the end of 2020-21 following a loan spell at Doncaster.