Portsmouth boss reveals where he believes side's play-offs hopes stand against Bolton, Ipswich, Sunderland, Plymouth & Co

Danny Cowley believes Pompey are big underdogs as their faint play-off ambitions show signs of life.

By Jordan Cross
Monday, 7th March 2022, 4:55 am

But the Blues boss believes there shouldn’t be talk of finishing in the top six with his squad continuing to creak, after the thumping of Accrington Stanley.

Ronan Curtis has finished his two-game suspension, but Pompey have now lost Marcus Harness for three matches after a reckless first-half dismissal.

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The 43-year-old lauded his men’s character, but isn’t sure the the discussion should be about extending the season at present.

He said: ‘I don’t think we should be (talking about the play-offs).

‘We’ve got such a small squad and tough away games now, with the games coming thick and fast.

Danny and Nicky Cowley celebrate on Saturday.

‘We lose Marcus and we get Ronan back, but it’s a huge challenge.

‘When you’re Portsmouth and you’re a great club with tradition and steeped in history with this support base, it’s hard to create the underdog narrative - but it feels like we’re the underdogs and having to really fight for each other.

‘I feel that we’ve created quite a lot of strength in adversity - I believe in that.

‘I think let’s keep trying to perform well - let’s keep trying to enjoy our performances.

‘It feels like the boys really enjoyed their performance and working hard for each other.

‘Sometimes when you go down in games you have to enjoy defending.

‘I think we did all those things with real endeavour.’

Pompey now face a testing run of three away games in eight days, starting with Tuesday’s trip to Crewe.

That period will tell much about whether there are realistic ambitions of making the play-offs, with just seven points covering the sides from Bolton in 11th to Wycombe up in fifth.

Cowley added: ‘We’re down to 14 senior players - maybe we’ll have to say 15 now with Jay Mingi, who has worked so hard for his chance. That was a really proud moment for him and his family.

‘It’s so tough for us at the moment and now we’ve got three away games in eight days - it’s on to Crewe.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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