Danny Cowley lifts lid on why Ellis Harrison had no future at Portsmouth following departure for Fleetwood

Danny Cowley has revealed why Ellis Harrison had no future at Fratton Park.

Sunday, 9th January 2022, 4:55 am

It was an injury-hampered two-and-a-half season association with the Blues following his £425,000 arrival from Ipswich.

Crucially, Harrison featured just 14 times under Cowley, consisting of three starts.

And, with the 27-year-old’s contract up at the season’s end, Pompey’s boss held ‘honest’ talks which resulted in both parties agreeing to a January parting.

Cowley told The News: ‘Ellis was coming out of contract this summer and we had made the decision that we probably weren’t going to extend it.

‘When you do that, you have that honest conversation with the player. If you can help to accelerate the process then you do – and I think this benefits everybody.

‘Hopefully he appreciated the honesty, I have nothing but love for Ellis and wish him all the very best at Fleetwood.

Danny Cowley has revealed why he didn't see a Fratton Park future for Ellis Harrison. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages

‘For a number nine, sometimes you have the feeling that they need a fresh start.

‘Being honest, Ellis hasn’t been available. He wasn’t available at the back end of last season, had a disrupted pre-season, came back and then got injured again.

‘It has been a really stop-start time at Pompey for him – and sometimes you just have to cut people free.

‘That’s the truth, that’s what we decided, and I think Fleetwood would be better for Ellis because it was an offer with an extended contract, which gives him and his family stability and security.’

Harrison was recruited by Kenny Jackett in June 2019 during a summer transfer window which saw Pompey splash out £2.5m.

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John Marquis and Marcus Harness also arrived for sizeable fees, joined by free agents Paul Downing, James Bolton and Ryan Williams.

The spending was bankrolled by the departures of Matt Clarke to Brighton and Jamal Lowe to Wigan, yet disappointingly heralded a 2019-20 play-off semi-final defeat to Oxford United.

On Saturday, Harrison was handed an immediate debut for Fleetwood in their League One trip to Doncaster.

Sure enough, he grabbed a 50th-minute winner for the Cod Army – the striker’s first in the league since March 2021.

An instant impact for the player who was also pursued by Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury during the January transfer window.

Cowley added: ‘There was some interest in Ellis, but Fleetwood is his choice.

‘For us now, it will obviously create funds that we can utilise and help the current players in the squad.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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