And Pompey’s boss is prepared to be ‘on his case 24/7’ to ensure the winger fulfils his potential
The 23-year-old has become something of a forgotten man at Fratton Park following just one appearance since his January 2020 arrival from Bromley.
Last term he rejoined his former club for a loan spell, while also turned out for League Two Southend, where he was granted his Football League debut.
Now Reeco Hackett-Fairchild’s back at Pompey, seeking to impress under the Cowleys.
The left-footed winger has netted twice in pre-season, including the winner for a Pompey XI against Bournemouth under-21s on Tuesday.
And Cowley has drawn up plans to bring out his best.
Pompey’s head coach told The News: ‘Pompey haven’t seen the best of Reeco.
‘Sometimes young players need opportunity and they need trust. They need belief and your help – and I’m going to help Reeco by being on his case 24/7.
‘I was really pleased for Reeco against Peterborough, he came in and played with the energy, intensity and aggression we’ve been going after.
‘He’s the most relaxed, chilled out, lovely boy off the pitch, but I’m trying to get a bit more devilment on it, some aggression and physicality. We’ve now seen that.
‘When he came off on Saturday, he had actually run the furthest on the pitch.
‘Reeco’s got some really good attributes and I have to keep on at him, trying to drag it out of him. I want to be his best friend by being on his case 24/7.
‘I am the type of coach that when I see what someone is capable of, I want it consistently.
‘He’s not going to be able to breathe without me knowing about it! That’s what he needs.
‘I will do it from the very best place because I like him as a boy and think he can be whatever he wants to be.’
Hackett-Fairchild netted against the Hawks after appearing as a half-time substitute in last month’s friendly.
He then rattled in a ferocious right-footed effort at Bournemouth in Tuesday’s final pre-season fixture.
And Cowley has real hope for the youngster.
He added: ‘For Reeco, anything is possible.
‘Any boy who scores as many goals as he did in the National League as a very young player has ability. You don’t do that otherwise.
‘I have lived the National League, I know how tough a division it is. It’s not an easy place for young players and if you can survive it and actually do well, then you have attributes.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
The News has launched a subscription offer which gives you unlimited access to all of our Pompey coverage, starting at less than 14p a day.
You can subscribe here to get the latest news from Fratton Park - and to support our local team of expert Pompey writers.