And the Pompey boss has promised not to bow to pressure to act now, as he waits for the right forward recruits to become available in the January transfer window.
The Blues’ need for strengthening at the top end of the pitch was once again glaring, as their 10-game unbeaten league record came to an end against MK Dons.
Pompey’s play-off rivals snared the points despite Cowley’s’ side having 20 shots on goal, on their return to Fratton Park after a five-week absence.
The profligacy of his men proved costly, however, as a string of presentable chances went begging.
Pompey completed their first piece of January business on Saturday, as promising Championship defender Hayden Carter arrived on loan for the rest of the season from Blackburn.
But the talk among the Fratton faithful is off the pressing need for someone who can put the ball in the net on a regular basis, with just the bottom three and Shrewsbury scoring fewer goals this season.
Cowley isn’t prepared to compromise on that search, despite Saturday’s reverse being the first of four big games this month before the window closes.
He said: ‘It has to be the right player at the right time and for the right finance.
‘We’d like to add in that (attacking) area, we’ve lost Gassan (Ahadme) and we’ve lost Ellis (Harrison).
‘We would like to add in that area and we’re working hard to find the right player.
‘But not everyone can play number nine for Portsmouth.
‘I understand that in an ideal world we would have brought a number nine in on January 1.
‘But that’s not always possible.
‘It’s not for the want of trying and we’re doing everything we can, but I haven’t got a magic wand unfortunately.’
Cowley knows there will be plenty of expectation which falls on the shoulders of whoever he recruits to lead the line for Pompey this month.
Even in recent years there’s ample evidence of strikers who couldn’t handle the weight of being a Pompey striker, who have gone on to succeed elsewhere.
Cowley added: ‘We have to wait for the right player.
‘We’ve seen time and time again that recruitment is everything.
‘If you sign a player who isn’t capable or competent enough to play for Portsmouth then they will find it very, very hard - because there is rightly a big expectation.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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