Danny Cowley's urgent message to Portsmouth board over future following play-off surrender

Danny Cowley has urged Pompey to make quick decisions about the road ahead as he waits to hear if his future lies at Fratton Park.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 4:54 am

The Blues boss was sent reeling by yesterday’s play-off surrender following the 1-0 defeat to Accrington Stanley at Fratton Park.

It means the 42-year-old has taken charge of the final game of his existing agreement after arriving as Kenny Jackett’s successor in March.

Despite falling short of a top-six finish, Cowley injected an impetus into Pompey season’s at a time when supporter apathy was rife – and there is now strong backing from fans for the former Huddersfield boss to remain.

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The News understands an agreement in principle is in place for the Cowleys to stay, with the club having the choice of whether to activate a long-term deal.

They are expected to let the dust settle on yesterday’s events before likely giving the Essex man the green light to take Pompey forward.

Whatever happens, Cowley thinks time is of the essence for the club to make the big calls which will form their immediate future.

Cowley said: ‘Now, because we haven’t made the play-offs, I suppose it gives us some clarity over what next season looks like.

Danny Cowley

‘If you go through a play-off process, you don’t have clarity and you can then get behind.

‘I think the club can and will need to make some quick decisions.

‘That’s for the club’s benefit really, because individuals never, ever matter in these situations. The club is always bigger than any individual.

‘We, as a club, need to make some quick decisions, and then we can have complete clarity over what we want to be and how we want to be defined.

‘For me, it’s clear.

‘We know we have to use a huge passion, a huge energy and huge intensity.

‘We’re Portsmouth Football Club, and we have to create a team that we can be proud of and we want to be associated with.’

It looks like an overhaul is certainly going to take place on the player side, with many of the players who failed to deliver a top-six finish this season on their way.

Pompey have 11 of the first-team squad out of contract and four loan players seeing their stays come to a close.

Cowley underlined the task for the club now is to recruit players who can take on the demand of representing the Blues.

He added: ‘That is the challenge.

‘We know we must sign players, and they have to be technically and tactically good enough to be able to cope to with the pressures and demands of playing for Portsmouth.

‘That doesn’t mean they have to be 27, 28, 29 or 30, because sometimes these big clubs make a mistake with recruitment.

‘Because you want players who can cope with the pressure and demands of the size of the club you then only sign players who’ve already lived that.

‘You don’t sign a young player because you don’t know if they can cope or not.

‘We have to make sure our recruitment looks beyond that and we look for the right personality.

‘You can have a 20-year-old who can absolutely cope with playing in front of 20,000 at Fratton Park.

‘We have to make sure the recruitment is intelligent enough and detailed enough to select not only the right players, but the right people.

‘I genuinely believe if we try do to do that, we can create a team and develop a team that make the people of Portsmouth proud.’