Portsmouth boss' caution as clamour grows for ex-Norwich City and Swindon Town man to be unleashed on League One

Pompey are prepared to apply the brakes as Louis Thompson’s Fratton career looks set for lift-off.

By Jordan Cross
Friday, 5th November 2021, 1:21 pm
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 2:28 pm
Louis Thompson. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com
Louis Thompson. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

Danny Cowley has outlined how the Blues have to be disciplined with the midfielder, who offered a tantalising glimpse of his potential in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Cheltenham Town.

But the head coach knows managing Thompson’s schedule has to be balanced with flaming the 26-year-old’s ferocious desire to succeed, after an injury-ravaged few years.

Pompey have carefully let the summer arrival bed in after his exit from Norwich City, with the Robins outing his first league start.

Now the clamour is growing for Thompson to be given an extended run in the side - but that is something Cowley believes Pompey need to be cautious about.

He said: ‘Louis is a boy who needs routine and we need to get his training programme exactly right.

‘He is such a great kid who is desperate to do well.

‘Louis has so much fire burning within him, probably because of the amount of disappointments he’s had in recent years.

‘But we work hard to understand the players and their needs.

‘It’s an individual plan for Louis, and we have to be disciplined and make sure we don’t deviate away from it.

‘Louis is just overstrong, so we’ve needed to maintain that strength and add a little suppleness.

‘He’s off to yoga, because these are little bits we need to do to add to his programme to keep him fit and ready to play.

‘We’re tweaking the way he works and at the moment it’s paying dividends.

‘What we’re working towards now is regular 90 minutes, but we have to be careful.

‘I’m really pleased to see him back playing and with a smile on his face.’

There was enthusiasm from supporters over Thompson’s link-up with Joe Morrell with Tuesday night, and the potential for that relationship to grow.

Cowley can see why there’s been such a response, as Thompson turned down better financial offers to make PO4 his latest home.

He added: ‘They are definitely a partnership who can play together.

‘There’s a complement there, for sure.

‘Both handle the ball well technically, which is important for the way we want to play.

‘You have to give credit to Louis, too.

‘He could’ve earned more elsewhere, but has come to us on a very small basic wage, because he believed in the way we were going to look after and train him.

‘He knew this season was about getting back and playing again.

‘We’re really proud of the progress he’s making.’

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