'There was no pressure at the top of the club': Andy Cullen on why Michael Eisner's faith in Portsmouth boss never wavered despite Ipswich low

There were rumblings after the Ipswich debacle, dissatisfaction was stirring, a League One placing of 17th damning.

Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 5:15 pm

Yet Andy Cullen insists there was never any question of the Blues hierarchy failing to hold their nerve – Danny Cowley retained their backing unequivocally.

Since October’s 4-0 home humiliation, Pompey are undefeated in the league for two-and-a-half months, spanning 10 matches.

As for Cowley, he was crowned the Sky Bet League One Manager Of The Month for November, the first Fratton Park boss to receive such distinction since April 2017.

Certainly Pompey are unrecognisable from that Ipswich low inflicted by Paul Cook, who has himself lost his job in the meantime.

Cullen, though, is adamant chairman Michael Eisner and Co never lost belief in the head coach they appointed permanently in May.

The Blues’ chief executive told The News: ‘The football club has come through some challenging times over the last few months.

‘Danny, Nicky and the coaching team got through a very, very difficult period because they believed in what they were doing.

Danny Cowley was named Sky Bet League One Manager of the Month for November. Pompey remain unbeaten in the league for two-and-a-half months. Picture: Jason Brown/JMP

‘If you believe in your principles and work hard, you will eventually see things turn a corner – as we have seen over the last 10 games.

‘As a board, you are fully supportive, there was no pressure at the top of the club on this, we believed in what Danny was trying to do for the longer term of the football club, so it’s great to see that turnaround.

‘Let’s face it, it has been in adversity as well, because he’s not had a full pack of cards to choose from at that time. I think that makes the achievement even more special.

‘We set out in the summer knowing we were trying to develop a philosophy, a style which was slightly different. You have to take people with you and it’s going to take time.

Since defeat to Ipswich in October, Danny and Nicky Cowley have steered Pompey to 10 League One matches unbeaten - and one defeat in 13 fixtures in all competitions

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‘You will always get the instant reaction after every game, but it’s important you don’t get too carried away with the highs and don’t get too down with the lows. Believe in what you are doing because it will come right.

‘You can’t change that overnight, but we don’t necessarily say we’re giving up on the season.

‘We have always been determined we can still challenge – and have now put ourselves back into the mix with a good end to 2021.’

The Blues have lost one of their 13 fixtures in all competitions since Ipswich – an FA Cup defeat to Harrogate Town.

In the process, they have rattled up five consecutive League One clean sheets to position themselves in eighth spot.

Cullen added: ‘Our message to Danny after Ipswich was don’t get too down, just believe in what you are doing.

‘You and Nicky are an extremely successful management team, you know what you’ve achieved in the past, your record speaks for itself.

‘Believe in your own philosophy, believe in your own convictions – and be aware you've got support from me and Michael.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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