Danny Cowley gives insight into Portsmouth pre-season plans as foreign tour is ruled out

Danny Cowley admitted pre-season plans for next term are under way – although a tour abroad is off the cards.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 12:30 pm

However, the head coach hasn't ruled out taking Pompey to St George's Park to prepare for the 2021-22 campaign.

Cowley will see pre-season as fundamental to imparting his philosophy on the players ahead of a maiden full campaign in the PO4 hot seat.

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Amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, though, it means fans will be unable to follow Pompey on foreign shores for successive summers.

For the previous two campaigns, ex-boss Kenny Jackett took Pompey to Ireland – basing themselves at the Fota Island Resort, Cork, in 2018 and then the Portmarnock Hotel, Dublin, the following summer.

The Blues also visited the Emerald Isle during Paul Cook’s reign as manager.

Pompey fans at UCD during the Blues' pre-season trip to Dublin in 2019. Picture: Arnold Byrne

Cowley’s disappointed Pompey can’t jet off to somewhere ‘exotic’ – but the state-of-the-art facilities at the FA’s national football centre could be a sufficient replacement.

Cowley said: ‘We're going to have the toughest pre-season you can ever imagine!

‘I like cranking the treadmill up so high and so fast, it makes the players run harder.

‘By the time they get to the start of the season, the games feel easy because of the challenges they had.

Ben Close in action against UCD in the summer of 2019. Picture: Arnold Byrne

‘I think so (it'll be in England). We'd love to be able to go to an exotic part of the world but we don't think it's going to be possible, feasible or actually the right thing to do in the circumstances.’

When asked if St George's Park is a possibility, Cowley replied: ‘I think so. Somewhere where there are the best pitches with the best ball roll.

‘If we get the best ball roll then you get the most intensity out of the players.’