Joe Morrell: The truth behind why I changed my mind - and turned down Ipswich to join Portsmouth

Joe Morrell has revealed the reasons behind the change of heart which prompted a shock U-turn on an Ipswich switch.

By Neil Allen
Thursday, 12th August 2021, 6:05 pm
Joe Morrell is adamant the chance to work with Danny Cowley again was pivotal. Picture: Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images
Joe Morrell is adamant the chance to work with Danny Cowley again was pivotal. Picture: Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

The 24-year-old had agreed to reunite with Danny Cowley at Fratton Park following the acceptance of a Pompey bid by Luton at the end of last week.

However, according to Morrell, Ipswich declared an interest on Saturday night, offering significantly more attractive financial terms.

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Yet there was still time for a rethink and, on Monday evening, Morrell signed a three-year deal with Pompey for an undisclosed fee.

And the former Bristol City man has lifted the lid on what happened during that dramatic period.

He told The News: ‘I’m 24 years old and not somebody at the end of his career.

‘I’ve got a lot to give and this move was about what’s best for me as a footballer and not necessarily my bank account or other factors.

‘I did have to make a phone call on Sunday to him (Cowley) to say I am probably going to another club after agreeing a deal here, which was never the intention.

‘There was another football club which had given me a good offer on Saturday night, something at that time which I was thinking seriously about, and his reaction made me even more motivated to come to Pompey.

‘He obviously sounded gutted, but he wasn’t annoyed or frustrated. He handled that brilliantly and, in the end, that played a big part in me coming here.

‘You weigh everything up and try to block out the noise and go with your heart. From a financial perspective, this was not the best move for me, but this is a move for my development as a footballer.

‘Is a bit more money going to make a difference when you feel a part of something, when you feel at home at a massive football club in front of fantastic fans?

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‘It was a difficult decision. I don’t want to disrespect any other football club because the club I was in talks with is a fantastic club too – and a big club.

‘But there’s a bit of guilt that it ended up being a little more difficult than it was going to be on Friday and Saturday.’

Morrell will be handed his Pompey debut on Saturday for the visit of Crewe.

It represents the second time the pair have worked together, following a season-long loan at Lincoln in 2019-20.

And the chance to link up with Cowley once again was pivotal.

‘You weigh up a lot of options when you sign for a football club and definitely the manager is a massive part,’ Morrell added.

‘I have spoken to him so much over the summer. He has been pestering me, put it that way!

‘He’s always someone I have kept in regular contact with. I played for him at Lincoln, not for a long period of time, but have had a good relationship with him since.

‘It’s his drive and his determination to succeed. I also feel we share the same values as people, regardless of football, and that is a massive factor in me coming here.’

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