Movement on Portsmouth's out-of-contract players as Danny Cowley makes mark

Danny Cowley has given his verdict to Pompey on their key out-of-contact players.

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 4:30 pm

And the new head coach told the rest of the Blues squad waiting to hear what their future holds he will give them clarity over what lies ahead for their careers.

Cowley, and his brother Nicky, have big decisions to make over the existing squad with 11 players out of contract this summer.

Skipper Tom Naylor, Jack Whatmough, Andy Cannon, Ryan Williams, Craig MacGillivray, Ben Close, Jordy Hiwula and Charlie Daniels are among those waiting to know what the club’s plans are.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Cowley knows there are certain to be suitors for many of those men whose deals are coming to a close.

The 42-year-old has wasted little time in letting the board know the names of some of those he feels have to be kept moving forward as a priority.

Cowley said: ‘There’s a couple of them out of contract that I’ve already made recommendations for, because I know how important they are to the football club moving forward.

Danny Cowley and Craig MacGillivray, who is one of the out-of-contract players this summer

‘I think really our job really is to tell the football club what is good value - and they tell us what’s affordable.

‘It then becomes a clear relationship.

‘The football club are aware of this and are working really hard.

‘With any relationship there’s two parties, but in football there’s normally four parties.

‘There’s usually the club, the player, the agent and usually another club as well.

‘So sometimes it’s not always straightforward, but this is what it is.

‘Good players will have options. I only ever worry if no one wants my players! That would scare me.

‘All of the players are contracted to this club, are really focussed and want to do well.

‘But they are also human beings and want clarity. I understand that.

‘I also think they respect we’ve been at the club less than a week.

‘So over time we will try to make intelligent decisions for the football club - and any decision we make will be with the best intentions and best interests of the football club at heart.’

The Cowleys find themselves in the unusual decision of having to make calls over players’ futures, despite arriving at Fratton Park just last week and only being on agreements to the end of the season themselves.

The new management team are mindful of that situation, and know they have people in the building already who can offer good advice in the process they face.

Cowley added: ‘We have to stay open-minded and learn from everyone.

‘We’re respectful of the fact we’ve just come into the building and the staff, Joe Gallen and Jake Wigley, have worked with the players a lot longer than we have and know them better than we do.

‘So we’re absolutely taking their advice and would be naive not to.

‘We’ll work with the football club to try to make the best decisions.’

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.