Danny Cowley reveals the sole Portsmouth positive amid awful defeat to Sutton United
Amid the desolate display against Sutton United, Danny Cowley has managed to unearth one crumb of positivity.
Encouragingly, Louis Thompson completed his first competitive 90 minutes in more than three years.
Granted, it represents nothing more than a minor plus point amid the wretched 2-0 defeat at the hands of the League Two side in Tuesday night’s Papa John’s Trophy encounter.
Nonetheless, the midfielder’s ongoing progress following his injury woes is a heartening sight, particularly as he marked it with a man-of-the-match showing.
Thompson’s previous Blues first-team start was 71 minutes against AFC Wimbledon, while his other four outings have arrived from the bench.
In last week’s 3-0 friendly victory at Bournemouth, the ex-Norwich man was used for 60 minutes.
The last time Thompson completed any competitive match was when he lined up for Norwich against Stevenage in the Carabao Cup in August 2018.
That was until the visit of Sutton.
Cowley told The News: ‘Against Sutton, Louis tried hard, that’s a prerequisite in a footballer.
‘I don’t congratulate players for trying hard, I’ll be honest, I don't, but I thought he tried hard.
‘Louis does get a little credit, though, while I thought Kieron Freeman did well.
‘Most important of all, Louis played 90 minutes on Tuesday night, which is the first time he has done that for us, so that is a big positive.
‘He’s a really good player, there’s a good player in there, definitely.
‘He played 60 minute against Bournemouth and is getting there. So there’s a big positive there that he has now played 90 minutes.
‘They then have to get to the place where they can back the games up, he’s in a process. It will now be trying to get him fit for the weekend.’
Meanwhile, notable absentees against Sutton were members of the Blues’ Academy.
Young trio Toby Steward, Harvey Hughes and Izzy Kaba were unused substitutes in a competition in which Pompey have granted 19 debuts in five seasons.
Cowley added: ‘We just played the players that hadn't been playing, with the young boys on the bench.
‘We knew it was going to be a really tough game, Sutton are playing with real momentum, energy and power, so you try to set the players up to get success.
‘We had a lot of players who were on the periphery and needed to play, while Harry Jewitt-White was out injured after picking up a quad problem while away with Wales.’
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