Danny Cowley: Incredible Ryan Williams in frame for emergency Portsmouth striking role

Danny Cowley is ready to turn to ‘incredible’ Ryan Williams as a short-term striking solution.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 11:30 am
Ryan Williams' high-octane performance at Shrewsbury has put him in the frame for a striking stint. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

Ellis Harrison has already been ruled out for the season, while Jordy Hiwula is expected to miss up to six weeks with an ankle injury.

And with John Marquis likely to receive a three-match ban following his Shrewsbury red card, the cupboard is bare.

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Teenage striker Alfie Stanley is an option, although has yet to make his Football League bow, while Marcus Harness and Ronan Curtis are considerations.

And the Australian’s high-octane performance had Cowley purring.

Pompey’s head coach said: ‘Yes, Ryan Williams is an option to play up front.

‘Incredible, what energy, what intensity, what desire.

‘With attacking players, there is always that little bit of single-mindedness, which forwards need.

‘But when you see the forwards put the team before themselves, that’s a lovely feeling for me – and players behind him.

‘He wants to run around and you’ve just got to get him in a position to free him up where he’s going to go and press, go and run.

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‘His penetrative runs are brilliant, he makes so many sacrificial runs where he’ll make a run and knows he won’t get the ball, but it creates space for someone else.

‘That's fantastic.’

Williams has scored three times in 39 appearances this season – with two of those coming in the same game against Ipswich.

Certainly, of the wingers, Curtis and Harness are more natural finishers, as their goal-scoring records illustrate.

Shrewsbury marked Harness’ 10th goal of the season, beating last year’s tally in his maiden Fratton Park campaign.

As for Curtis, he also has 10 for the season, while overall for Pompey totals an impressive 36 goals in 132 appearances.

This season’s leading scorer is Marquis, who bagged his 16th of the campaign in the 2-1 triumph over Sunderland.

The former Doncaster man now has 32 goals in 96 appearances, spread over two Fratton Park spells.

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