Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley regrets how Michael Jacobs' failed move to Ipswich was handled ahead of potential Tractor Boys reunion

Danny Cowley has admitted Michael Jacobs' failed move to Ipswich last summer could have been handled better.

By Sam Cox
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 5:30 pm

And he expressed relief that the attacking midfielder was able to return to Fratton Park without the incident damaging his relationship with both his team-mates and the fans.

Looking to overhaul his squad, Cowley granted Jacobs permission to speak to the big-spending Tractor Boys after accepting an offer from then Ipswich boss Paul Cook.

The player subsequently travelled to Suffolk, passed a medical and agreed personal terms on a move to Portman Road before the deal dramatically collapsed.

In fairness, many Pompey fans were delighted the switch fell through, with the former Wigan man’s talent widely recognised by the Fratton Faithful.

Until his recent injury, he had established himself as a key attacking influence for the Blues and one of the first names on the team sheet as his quality stood out.

Now, ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Ipswich - who are now managed by Kieran McKenna - Cowley paid tribute to Jacobs’ professionalism and expressed regret at how the whole affair was handled.

Michael Jacobs' proposed move to Ipswich in the summer collapsed. Picture: Joe Pepler

He said: 'I’ve seen a lot in football during my 15 years as a manager and I think that situation could have been handled better, for sure.

‘Michael is very professional and regardless of the opponent, always gives his best.

'It was a very difficult circumstance because I know it’s been well reported that Ipswich made an offer and the fee was accepted.

‘He then went and spoke to them before personal terms were agreed. He then passed a medical - then the move broke down.

‘Ultimately, Ipswich decided to take a player who had become available. These things happen.

'It did knock and affect Michael, but we were really pleased he stayed.

‘I think he knew he was coming back to a group who thought an awful lot about him and that made it easier for him to return.’

Jacobs, who has six goals and four assists from his 23 appearances this season, is currently on the comeback trail from a knee injury which has kept him out of the Blues' past five games.

He's been picking up the pace on his recovery and is expected to return to full training on Friday ahead of the trip to Portman Road.

And Cowley was keeping his cards close to his chest whether he would be able to call upon the former Ipswich target man for the all-important game against the Tractor Boys.

He added: ‘Well, never say never.

'I think the fact he’s training with us tomorrow is a real positive.

'We have everything crossed he’ll be back with the squad sooner rather than later.’