Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley on why Ronan Curtis must control his emotions to blossom into a 'top player'

Ronan Curtis must learn to control his emotions if he is to flourish into a ‘top player’.

By Neil Allen
Wednesday, 5th May 2021, 6:30 am
Danny Cowley believes Ronan Curtis must get his emotions under check if he is to improve as a player. Picture: Dennis Goodwin/ProSportsImages
Danny Cowley believes Ronan Curtis must get his emotions under check if he is to improve as a player. Picture: Dennis Goodwin/ProSportsImages

That’s the verdict of Danny Cowley who is striving to rein in the Irishman’s often explosive passion.

Curtis has been in scintillating late-season form, with three goals and three assists in his last four appearances.

However, the Blues’ head coach believes the 25-year-old must learn how to control his emotion to fulfil undoubted potential.

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As a case in point, Cowley had to issue calming words on the touchline after Curtis was furious over his AFC Wimbledon substitution six minutes from time.

And for Pompey’s boss, it was another example of the talented winger needing to control his temper.

Cowley told The News: ‘He’s a great kid, it’s just Ronan!

‘I am just trying to straighten out his faults, so he can channel his emotion to help him and help the team.

‘There’s a lot of work to do on that because he’s going to be a top player – and to become a top player you must always be in emotional control otherwise the opponent is going to see that as a weakness and try to exploit that.

‘The higher level you go, the more emotional it is and the more you've got to show control.

‘We are working really hard with Ronan. He is so willing and keen to want to improve in that area and he was brilliant on Saturday.

‘But I told him he was coming off because he was getting too emotional and frustrated with the group.

‘Our attacking players in that last 10 minutes were just trying to go to the goal straight away, we didn’t want the game to become we attack, they attack, we attack, they attack. We drew 3-3 in a basketball game at Accrington.

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‘Afterwards, when Ronan was sitting there with the hump, I said: “Hang on, we’ve won 3-1 in a really important game, you’ve scored and set two up and you still have the hump?”.

‘And he went “Hmmmm”. I said: “Come on, you’re not going to enjoy many football matches if you can't enjoy this one”.

‘He’s not a challenge, he’s an absolute pussy cat.’

Curtis has now equalled last season’s goal tally of 14 and remains a pivotal performer in this season’s play-off push.

The Blues will be hoping he can maintain his eye-catching form in the final league match against Accrington on Sunday.

What’s more, the Republic of Ireland international’s mum, Marie, is now back in the city to keep an eye on her son.

Cowley added: ‘His mum brought me some banana loaf on Friday and it was very, very nice.

‘At about 10pm at the training ground, me and Nicky ate it.

‘Dan Ashby (analyst), who did have a wife and life before we joined the club and now doesn’t have either because he is working about 100 hours a week, had a bit of it as well.

‘It kept up our spirits.’

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