Danny Cowley issues verdict on ex-Nottingham Forest, Lincoln City and Coventry loanee Tyler Walker's disappointing Portsmouth stay

Danny Cowley has admitted Pompey’s signing of Tyler Walker hasn’t worked out.

By Sam Cox
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 12:05 pm

But the Blues’ head coach is adamant the Coventry City loanee will come back stronger from his underwhelming Fratton Park stay.

The 25-year-old was drafted to the club in January, in the hope of rejuvenating the Fratton chief’s stuttering forward line.

At the time, it appeared as a promising acquisition – due to Walker’s record of nine Championship goals across a year and a half with the Sky Blues.

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And supporters’ appetite was further whetted, when discovering the ex-Nottingham Forest forward had netted four goals in nine appearances under the former Lincoln boss at Sincil Bank.

However, he's failed to replicate such form by notching just once in 15 appearances – against an all-but relegated Crewe in a 3-0 victory.

Ronan Curtis partnered Hirst up front, while O’Brien came off the bench with Walker an unused sub.

Tyler Walker has scored once in 15 Pompey outings. Picture: Jason Brown

Walker capture came with Pompey shelling out sizeable wages to cover his stay.

Cowley conceded, however, it’s a move which just hasn’t paid dividends to date.

He said: ‘(It’s) not (clicked) yet.

‘It’s the life of the number nine and Tyler is someone we know really well as we’ve worked with him before, and he’s been successful in our teams before.

‘He did brilliantly for Lincoln while we were there. To this point it hasn’t worked, but it hasn’t been for the want of trying.

‘His attitude and work ethic has been excellent and there’s no one who wants to be successful more than Tyler.’

His predecessor, John Marquis, infamously split opinion among supporters – after struggling to replicate his 26-goal haul from 2018-19 – which prompted Kenny Jackett to spend £1m to bring him in.

The likes of Eoin Doyle an Michael Smith are others who have struggled at Pompey in recent seasons, before going on to thrive elsewhere.

Despite Walker’s Pompey stay not working, Cowley is still backing him for a long and successful career beyond this term.

He added: ‘Sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

This is football, but I have no doubt that with his work ethic, attitude, and quality he has, he will bounce back and come back even stronger as a consequence.’