Danny Cowley reveals his Portsmouth Plan B after failing to land new striker on transfer deadline day

Danny Cowley shrugged off the blow of failing to recruit a new Pompey striker and turned his attention to getting the best out of those already on Fratton Park’s books.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 5:45 pm

The Blues were unable to recruit the number nine they desperately require on a low-key transfer deadline day.

With Ellis Harrison turning down a switch to Plymouth, Cowley couldn’t create the space in his budget to bring in any of his striking targets.

That leaves him with Harrison and John Marquis, a pair purchased for a combined £1.4m by Kenny Jackett in the summer of 2019.

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In addition, Pompey have loanees George Hirst and Gassan Ahadme on their books.

And with no fresh alternatives, Cowley is seeking to maximise the striking talents at his disposal.

He told The News: ‘I’m a football manager, you don’t always get what you want.

‘We know what we’ve got, we know where we’re at, we are now going to work incredibly hard to try to bring this team together, to try to create a way of playing which best suits the players we have at our disposal.

Danny Cowley insists Ellis Harrison has responded well after coming close to leaving Pompey this transfer window. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

‘With a number nine position, we knew we would need to move out to move in – and it wasn’t possible.

‘I don’t just want to say Ellis, if we had moved out another player that might have created the freedom to bring in a number one.

‘But you have to remember it’s not an easy position, that’s why they get paid the big bucks.

‘To be fair to the owners, they have significantly invested in that area of the pitch. You can’t say they haven’t.

‘So it’s up to everybody – the players and the staff – to now give the owners a return for that investment and that’s what we are going to work to do.

‘Of course we had strikers lined up, but you only have to look at the amount of number nines which went on deadline day. Not many.

‘There aren’t many around, not unless you have significant money to buy. That’s the truth.

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‘For this level, the club have invested significantly in two number nines.

‘The owners want the absolute best for this football club and are trying to achieve it with a level of financial stability – and that’s not easy in football.’

Cowley has revealed Harrison has responded positively to the transfer scenario he found himself in.

And the 27-year-old turned up at training this morning on his day off to maintain fitness work as he bids to ramp up his Pompey displays.

Cowley added: ‘Ellis feels like he has unfinished business and doesn’t think we’ve seen the best of him – I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him.

‘This morning we showed Ellis clips of what we think he does at his best and what that could do to the team if we can get him back to that place.

‘But you have to get him into the physical condition first and foremost. It has been a real stop-start time for him.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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