And the Blues’ head coach felt the second-half drop-off in his team’s intensity showed his team are very much a work in progress, following the 2-1 success at Fratton Park.
Victory kept up the Cowleys’ 100 per cent record after three games, but the success did see the bottom-of-the-table side come back into the clash late on.
Cowley said: ‘I thought we played with more calmness today, but at times didn’t execute as well as we could’ve done.
‘Maybe at times we could have made better decisions.
‘If we’d been a little more ruthless we could have found ourselves in a better position.
‘In the first half we got the ball into the right areas but didn’t execute it as well as we’d have liked.
‘In the second half we actually played with more control but we probably just ran out of steam.’
Cowley was clear on the factors which contributed to Pompey not being able to implement the high-pressing game throughout the new management team are determined to implement.
He added: ‘It was because we gave the ball away too much during the game.
‘We want to play a high press for 90 minutes and if you want to do that you have to control possession.
‘If you give the ball away, you have to keep running after it. If you keep running after it eventually the intensity of your press drops.
‘That’s probably what happened in the final 15 minutes, and as a consequence the defensive distances got bigger and they were able to play through us.
‘We could definitely have controlled that last part of the game better than we did.
‘We’re pleased with aspects, but the great thing is we’ve won three games and there’s still loads to work on.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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