Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley makes selection admission about 'talented' Andy Cannon
Danny Cowley admits Andy Cannon ‘hasn’t quite been himself’.
Yet Pompey’s new head coach is still able to recognise the energetic talents the 25-year-old brings to his side.
Upon reflection, he shouldn’t have named the ex-Rochdale man in his maiden Pompey team against Ipswich.
Regardless, that 2-1 outcome signalled the start of four straight victories in charge of the League One side.
The latest triumph was inspired by a stunning Cannon strike after entering the DW Stadium action from the bench at the interval.
And Cowley is in no doubt of the goal-scorer’s ability.
He said: ‘Andy Cannon’s a top player, there’s no doubt about that.
‘Absolutely he can get into the side. I just pick what I see, that’s the truth.
‘When we came in, he had been struggling with his back. I probably shouldn’t have played him in the Ipswich game, but he’d had such a good season.
‘We kind of felt we should go with him, but he hasn't quite been himself.
‘Credit to the medical team, because they’ve got some good work into him. He’s been training, but they’ve tried to give him more mobility and free him up a bit.
‘At Wigan we wanted his enthusiasm, his dynamic energy to the group. He’s really good in tight areas, he has really good ball dexterity, and we felt he could come in and impact.
‘He’s a talented boy isn’t he, he’s a really talented boy. He trained on Saturday morning after the Friday game and was really good. I picked a few bits of him in training.
‘That goal (Wigan) was a goal out of sync with the game, out of context, because it was always going to be a difficult game on that pitch.
‘It’s really hard to play well on a pitch with the grass that long, but if we don’t want to play on pitches like this we have to take it to the next level and play on nicer ones!’
Intriguingly at the DW Stadium, Cowley took Cannon aside and explained his tactical responsibilities while the first half was still in progress.
He then introduced him at the break in place of Michael Jacobs.
Cowley added: ‘I knew after 22 minutes. The first half of the first half I knew that we needed fresh energy.
‘When you know you are going to make a decision, you want to tell players as quickly as you can.
‘Try to get them to look at certain aspects of the game so it helps them to prepare to come on and hopefully have an impact.
‘I definitely didn’t tell him to beat three players and smash it into the top corner – but I am pleased that he did.’
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