Portsmouth's new-found corner king surprisingly deposed - Danny Cowley reveals reasons behind ex-Manchester United and Luton man's snub

Danny Cowley has revealed the reasons behind Ryan Tunniclife’s surprise Ipswich set-piece snub.

Monday, 14th March 2022, 4:30 pm

And he insists the midfielder remains a contender for Pompey corner duties ahead of tomorrow night’s trip to Plymouth (7.45pm).

He claimed two assists, with firstly Sean Raggett and then George Hirst heading home his corner deliveries.

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After moving to the bench against Crewe, Tunnicliffe earned a recall for Saturday’s trip to in-form Ipswich.

However, he was overlooked for corner-taking responsibility upon his first-team return, with Ronan Curtis instead preferred in the goalless Portman Road draw.

Cowley told The News: ‘We were playing against a team which had a real threat on transition and you need to have enough balance behind the ball.

‘We actually had six in the box, which are all powerful boys.

Ryan Tunnicliffe returned to Pompey's side at Ipswich, yet was overlooked for corner-taking duties. Picture: Malcolm Bryce/ProSportsImages

‘If you analyse in detail, Ronan’s set-pieces have been quite good up until Saturday. He had a really good wide free-kick and a back-post corner, but otherwise maybe were not as good.

‘For corners, Ipswich leave one up, so we keep two back to give us a plus one on the defensive line.

‘Then we have one securing the edge of the box, which on Saturday was Ryan.

‘If Ryan was taking corners, the biggest problem would be the need to instead leave one of the centre-halves back.

Ronan Curtis replaced Ryan Tunnicliffe on corner-taking duties at Ipswich, despite the latter's two assists against Accrington. Picture: Malcolm Bryce/ProSportsImages

‘We can do that – and there’s an argument for it – but we felt that, with the power we had in the box, we could create a mis-match.

‘Hayden Carter scored six goals at Burton last season, you are always going to send Raggs up, Connor Ogilvie is a goal threat, and we believe Clark (Robertson) can be as well.

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‘One of these would have had to stay back, then you put Ronan in the box and let Ryan take them.

‘We obviously look at things in training, while Ronan has good delivery from set-pieces.’

Tunnicliffe recently returned to full fitness following a long-term hamstring injury, producing a man-of-the-match showing against Accrington.

And Cowley is adamant the ex-Manchester United man continues to be under consideration for corners.

The Blues’ head coach added: ‘Ryan can take them, he’s a talented boy and technically very, very good.

‘Absolutely he can take corners, he’s just been in squads that have always had set-piece specialists.

‘Prior to Accrington, he had delivered two corners into the box twice in his entire career.

‘We have the benefit of using Wyscout and these types of portals where we can go back to watch all their corners through their careers.

‘There were some short corners as well, yet fewer than a dozen overall.

‘I wouldn’t say he was a specialist corner taker, although his delivery against Accrington was very good.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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