'Once you get that connection it can be really, really powerful' - incoming Portsmouth boss on rebuilding lost link with fans

Danny Cowley has given an insight into his experience of rebuilding a lost bond between fans and a football club.

Danny Cowley, then-manager of Lincoln City, lifted the Checkatrade Trophy at Wembley in 2018.
Danny Cowley, then-manager of Lincoln City, lifted the Checkatrade Trophy at Wembley in 2018.

The man set to be appointed as Kenny Jackett’s successor has told how he built Lincoln into a ‘powerful entity’ by reuniting the Imps with the people who made up the identity of the outfit.

Cowley helped oversee a memorable rise from the National League to League One in a memorable three-year stay, for a club who had felt down on its luck.

Lincoln also became the non-league club to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in the 2016-17 campaign, knocking out two Championship sides and Premier League Burnley along the way, along with a 2018 Checkatrade Trophy win.

In an approach which will resonate with Pompey fans, who’d become disillusioned with where the team was headed under Kenny Jackett, Cowley explained how he got Lincoln going in the right direction after six years out of the Football League.

He told The Coaches’ Voice: ‘The club had lost its direction, so we tried to come in and bring an enthusiasm and direction.

‘We tried to connect the club back with the people and just tried to learn quickly what are the people? The people are really down-to-earth hard-working people.

‘So let’s try to find players who fit that, that the supporters could then align themselves with, understand, respect and be proud of.

‘And once you get that connection it can then be really, really powerful,

‘It’s not just about 11 players driving a club to success, it’s about a whole group of people.

‘It’s the staff, and we tried to really value them. We’re all cogs in a wheel here, no one is more important than anyone else.

‘If you’re the tea lady or the chairman, everybody gets treated the same with the same level of respect.‘I think we managed to get everybody to buy into that and be a part of that. That made us a really powerful entity.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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