Danny Cowley reveals concerns - and delight - over new Portsmouth formation after Charlton point

On one hand stronger, on the other weaker – the conundrum facing Danny Cowley over his new Pompey system.

Sunday, 26th September 2021, 1:00 pm
Danny Cowley is seeing pros and cons of his new Pompey system in action. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

Since introducing three centre halves and wing-backs, the goals have encouragingly started to flow for the Blues.

However, they have also begun to leak, epitomised by costly defensie errors.

Saturday’s trip to Charlton signified successive 2-2 draws since Cowley initially introduced the formation against Plymouth.

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The run of three straight League One defeats has thankfully ended, but issues elsewhere have now emerged.

And Cowley admits to mixed feelings over the effectiveness of the recent system change.

He told The News: ‘With the system, I liked some parts of it. I definitely liked it offensively, I didn’t like it defensively.

‘It has been hard to go into a run of five games in 14 days and lose two left-footed defenders. It has been a challenge for us to try to find the solutions.

‘I have got to try to work out the answer and we have been forced into the system change.

‘Let’s be honest, we’ve gone with one recognised centre-half in the last two games in Sean Raggett. If you put another recognised central defender in, that would thicken you up.

‘That might then give us the balance we are looking for, because it’s always in possession and out of possession.

‘At the moment, people can rightly be critical of us. Losing two left-footed defenders has helped us offensively, but not so much defensively.’

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Certainly they were dominant in the first half, with an impressive opening 45 minutes which saw them head in at the break with a 1-0 advantage.

That was supplied by Ronan Curtis’ second goal in three matches as he begins to find some form.

And that half, in particular, left Cowley hailing it as Pompey’s best on their travels so far this season.

He added: ‘I liked us at Crewe, but Saturday was our best first half away from home.

‘You are not going to go anywhere in League One and dominate for the whole 90 minutes, that doesn’t happen in football.

‘I thought we had dominance in the first 45 minutes, they then had a spell and we wrestled it back from them.

‘Once we went 2-1 up, we had to keep playing until the end, but unfortunately they got an equaliser.’

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