Portsmouth boss reveals potential new Crewe date - and hopes Shrewsbury won't add to growing fixture chaos

Danny Cowley has already pencilled in a date for Pompey’s rearranged match with Crewe.

Monday, 21st February 2022, 1:30 pm
Updated Monday, 21st February 2022, 1:38 pm

Yet it’s fingers crossed that tomorrow night’s encounter at Shrewsbury goes ahead as the Blues’ fixture list lurches towards a chaotic season finale.

According to the Blues boss, Tuesday, March 8, remains the likely return to Gresty Road following Saturday’s controversial cancellation.

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In addition, the visit of Rotherham (April 2) could be moved due to the Millers’ potential involvement in the Papa John’s Trophy final at Wembley that same weekend.

At least Cowley is optimistic the scheduled game at Shrewsbury (7.45pm) will go ahead as planned.

Although, ominously, their Saturday fixture with Morecambe was called off through a waterlogged pitch.

Cowley told The News: ‘We obviously have a busy schedule now, we have fallen a little behind the rest of the teams in terms of games played.

Referee Martin Coy, centre, with Danny Cowley and Crewe boss David Artell, ahead of calling off Saturday's Gresty Road encounter. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/PinPep

‘We anticipate an international break in March as well, on the date we are playing Boton (March 26), so that one will need to be rearranged.

‘Then we are meant to have Rotherham, who are still involved in the Papa John’s Trophy.

‘If they reach the final on the first Sunday in April (April 3), that could mean we move the Bolton game to April 2.

‘Bolton are scheduled to play Wigan, who also could be in that Wembley final against Rotherham. So that’s as clear as mud!

‘We won’t know that until the Papa John’s Trophy games are played on March 8 and 9, so we’re just going to have to roll with it.

‘We are professional footballers, we will adapt and, should the fixture list be particularly busy, work around it. We love playing football.’

Despite the growing fixture chaos in a season which finishes earlier on April 30, Cowley remains upbeat.

And he holds up his 2015-16 season when in charge of National League Braintree as an example of ploughing on.

He added: ‘If Shrewsbury doesn't go ahead it won’t be ideal, but I can remember at Braintree we played once in a 49-day period over Christmas and January.

‘This was a part-time team in a full-time league by the way, a lot different, when you’re also working all day.

‘We played Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Then went to Barrow on a Saturday and it was exactly like Crewe, getting called off as we arrived. It was eight hours from Braintree.

‘We had to go back one Tuesday for the match, returning home at 6am, then going to work on Wednesday.

‘We finished third in the National League that season. You can do it, anything’s possible.’

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