Danny Cowley reveals Portsmouth pride after Doncaster rout caps sparkling week since Oxford United controversy

Danny Cowley hailed Pompey’s spirit after bouncing back from their Oxford United heartbreak to register successive victories.

Saturday, 12th February 2022, 6:26 pm

The Blues rattled off four second-half goals to hammer relegation strugglers Doncaster 4-0 at Fratton Park this afternoon.

It follows Tuesday night’s 2-1 triumph over Burton, which marked a first league win for almost two months.

That represented the perfect reaction to the injustice the Blues felt from last Saturday’s controversial 3-2 loss at the Kassam Stadium.

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Danny Cowley is delighted at Pompey's character since their Oxford United disappointment. Picture: Joe Pepler

And Cowley was delighted with his team’s character as they closed the gap on League One’s play-off spots to nine points.

He told The News: ‘You think how hard we tried against Oxford, the discipline we showed to play 90 minutes with 10-men and were really unlucky not to get the result.

‘The character they have shown to bounce back from that disappointment and take six points at home has been great – and it was pleasing to give something back to our brilliant supporters.

‘The players have had a difficult run, we’ve had some key injuries in key places, and some new partnerships and relationships as a consequence of that.

‘Sometimes it just takes a bit of time and we just have to commit to it, commit to how we want to play, and I thought we did that in the second half.

‘Certainly once we got the first goal, then the second, you could feel the confidence coming back in and I thought we played some really good football in that second half.

‘I was really proud of the boys, it has been a really good week for us.’

It took the Blues until the 56th minute before breaking the deadlock, with Reeco Hackett heading home Marcus Harness’ right-wing cross.

Just seven minutes later George Hirst added a second, before substitute Aiden O’Brien and Sean Raggett also got on the scoreline to complete the 4-0 success.

Cowley added: ‘In the first half, I didn’t think we had a good way in, I just felt we were a little risk averse. We didn’t quite play how we wanted to, a bit too direct.

‘It probably took 20 minutes and after that we started to find a free man in midfield, which was Louis (Thompson), and we were able to get Marcus (Harness) and Reeco more into the game.

‘We got a well-worked first goal and knew we could hurt Doncaster if we got into advanced areas and got crosses and numbers into the box – and so it proved.

‘Three of the four goals came from crosses and, eventually, it was a good performance from us.’

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