Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley: I thought Fleetwood was a brilliant win, one of my favourite-ever wins

Danny Cowley declared it as one of his ‘favourite-ever’ victories.

Sunday, 8th August 2021, 5:00 pm

Although Pompey’s head coach admitted his team were not at their best in their 1-0 Fleetwood triumph.

At the Highbury Stadium on Saturday, Lee Brown’s 60th-minute strike ensured the Blues’ League One season kicked off with winning ways.

However, it was achieved with a grind rather than a swagger in a highly unconvincing display.

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In fairness, Cowley’s preparations were severely impacted by Shaun Williams being forced off with a back problem in the warm up, with defender Connor Ogilvie named in midfield.

Fleetwood must surely have wondered how they collected nothing from the encounter they deserved more from.

For Cowley, though, the manner of Pompey’s triumph impressed.

He told The News: ‘I thought it was a brilliant win, one of my favourite-ever wins, because we were up against it.

Danny Cowley applauds Pompey's travelling fans following Saturday's 1-0 victory at Fleetwood. Picture: Paul Thompson/ProSportsImages

‘We had a really tough journey down, it took nine hours, but the fact was we lost our central midfielder in the warm up, one of only two.

‘That affected the way we wanted to play – and the boys had a really easy excuse they could have taken. They didn’t, though.

‘We talked all pre-season about Portsmouth people. Gritty, determined, resilient, that's what we want to be.

‘Supporters saw those qualities on Saturday and I think they like those qualities – I like those qualities.

‘If you want to be a successful team you have to win 28 games plus get some draws. I would say 15 of those matches you're going to win playing well, they are the easy ones.

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‘But how do you win the 12-13 you don’t play well.

‘We will play lots better than that, we had no rhyme or control against Fleetwood, it was so hard for players technically and tactically.’

Pompey are now waiting to learn the full extent of Williams’ injury.

And Cowley believes a nightmare journey travelling up to Lancashire on Friday also impacted on the midfielder’s existing back problem.

According to Cowley, the issue initially flared up after Williams picked up his son out of bed on Thursday evening.

The Blues had hoped it would clear by the Fleetwood clash, yet it didn’t prove to be the case.

He added: ‘We left at 12.30pm on Friday. I was meant to take five-and-a-half hours or even six. It took us nine.

‘We had Willo struggling with a back problem, so stopped two or three times to stretch our legs.

‘Something like that doesn’t help (his injury).’

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