Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley makes selection admission after Harrogate defeat and vows to go in search of answers

Danny Cowley confessed he’s never had it so tough when it comes down to player availability.

Saturday, 4th December 2021, 6:45 pm
Updated Saturday, 4th December 2021, 6:45 pm

And the Blues boss vowed to go in search of answers as injury and illness hampered his selection for today’s FA Cup second-round defeat at the hands of Harrogate.

Pompey were without eight players who are deemed first-team squad members for the game at Fratton Park, with Joe Morrell and George Hirst among those absent through a sickness bug that took hold of the set-up during the week.

The rest, including Clark Robertson, Louis Thompson, Ryan Tunnicliffe and Paul Downing, were out through injury – something Cowley has had to contend with for the majority of the season to date.

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Indeed, only a handful have managed to staff injury-free up until now, leaving the Pompey head coach to anxious to discover why.

Speaking to BBC Solent about the selection problems he had going into today’s game, Cowley said: ‘We didn’t have a centre-halve, we were really light in the centre of midfield – it’s just what it’s been for us this season.

‘It’s been one problem after the other.

‘And we do need to go away and we need to try to work out the whys.

Pompey boss Danny Cowley

‘I’ve never had an injury crisis like this in my entire career – never, nowhere close.

‘And then you get to midweek and you have seven, eight, nine 10 of them feeling under the weather and ill so it’s kind of disrupted training.

‘Some came back and trained yesterday and we picked a team on who was fit and well enough rather than technically and tactically, which is never great.’