Danny Cowley sends clear Portsmouth message to Paul Downing, Rasmus Nicolaisen and other fringe men

Danny Cowley has insisted every Pompey player has been on a clean slate during a crucial week of training.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th March 2021, 1:52 pm

With the Blues having no match on Tuesday for the first time this year, the new head coach has been able to impart his ideas and demands with no interruptions at the club’s Hilsea base.

Under Kenny Jackett, the likes of Paul Downing, George Byers, Haji Mnoga and Rasmus Nicolaisen were down the pecking order.

Jordy Hiwula and Ben Close were also bit-part players under the former manager, although both featured in Cowley’s opening victory over Ipswich last weekend.

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However, the former Lincoln chief has pledged that everyone is on an even keel heading into Pompey’s trip to Shrewsbury on Saturday.

Cowley said: ‘We've come in with no agenda. Everybody gets an opportunity.

‘Training to us is very important. We spend painstaking hours planning our training hopefully to learn about the players as well as them learning from us.

‘Training is really, really important. We've got a full training week heading into Shrewsbury and it's really important for us heading towards the game idea and for the players to connect and show what they're capable of.

Paul Downing. Picture: Graham Hunt

‘It's great there is competition. If you want to be successful then you need competition all over the pitch and we have that.’

Assistant head coach Nicky Cowley explained how every training session is watched back and will play a major factor in determining Pompey's starting line-up.

He said: ‘For any player outside the starting XI, we watch every single training session back.

‘Training is very important and plays an important decision behind our selection.

‘Any player that is outside the team has an opportunity in training to have that and it's very important for the players to have that feeling.’

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