Danny Cowley lays down plans to reinvigorate his 'tired' Portsmouth side

Danny Cowley will seek to ‘freshen up’ his tired Pompey side for their next play-off hurdle.

By Neil Allen
Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 5:45 pm
Danny Cowley felt Michael Jacobs was among a number of tired Pompey players at Wigan on Bank Holiday Monday. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com
Danny Cowley felt Michael Jacobs was among a number of tired Pompey players at Wigan on Bank Holiday Monday. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

It represented a second game in 72 hours, following a 2-1 triumph over Rochdale on Good Friday.

For Pompey’s head coach, their DW Stadium display raised questions over his handling of a squad he’s still learning about.

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Regardless, a fourth straight victory under the Cowleys puts the Blues fourth in League One with eight matches remaining.

Nonetheless, Cowley admits he must address the issue of tiredness ahead of Saturday’s visit of struggling Burton.

He told The News: ‘The players have got some rest time now.

‘It’s always actually harder when you play the second game in short succession away from home because you’ve obviously got to travel, which adds onto everything.

‘Let’s not feel too sorry for them, though, they are professional sportsmen.

‘However, I try to be fair. I think, in fairness to the group, a new manager comes in and the intensity in training changes.

‘It’s more the style of play, we are probably pressing with more aggression now.

‘The (running) numbers were very good on Friday and there was a concern that we might suffer as a consequence, I think we did. We need to resolve that quite quickly.

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‘I need to go away and maybe look at how I can maybe freshen the team up. But, with respect as well, I am just getting to know them and that’s the first time I’ve really had that.

‘I learnt something at Wigan and will take that learning forward and make a decision.’

The half-time introduction of Andy Cannon for Michael Jacobs proved decisive against the Latics, netting the winner 36 seconds after coming on.

Harvey White also impressed Cowley following his entrance on the hour mark for Ben Close.

And the Blues’ head coach admits a number of his players could have made way for added energy from the bench.

He added: ‘I could have probably made three subs at half time, to be honest.

‘Michael Jacobs was tired, Ben Close was tired, Tom Naylor looked tired. They are just the facts, so we try to help the team to win the game.’

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