Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley reveals reason behind Joe Morrell's surprise omission against Bolton and latest on Ryan Tunnicliffe's injury

Danny Cowley has revealed his decision not to start with Joe Morrell for today’s game against Bolton was down to a slight groin issue.

Saturday, 30th October 2021, 6:09 pm
Updated Saturday, 30th October 2021, 6:16 pm

The Blues boss also said the Welsh international midfielder’s replacement in the starting XI – Ryan Tunnicliffe – came off near the end of the first half with a hamstring injury that’s related to the nerves.

That’s good news, according to Cowley.

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Substitute Joe Morrell replaced Shaun Williams on 78 minutes against Bolton. Picture: Joe Pepler

But the Blues will know more and how long the former Luton man will be out for in the next 24 hours and following a scan.

At present, it means that Pompey are keeping a close eye on two of their midfield regulars, with Louis Thompson – who replaced Tunnicliffe on 39 minutes – and Miguel Azeez on standby if needs be.

However, Cowley was cautiously optimistic on both fronts, adding that Morrell’s – who came on for fellow midfielder Shaun Tunnicliffe with 12 minutes remaining against Bolton – issue is one that’s under control.

Speaking to BBC Solent about the his complaint, the Blues head coach explained: ‘Joe's just got a little bit of a tight groin.

‘We’ve got a three-game week and he can probably only play in one of the first two games.

‘So, yeah, that was the thinking really.

‘It just gives him a little more time to settle.

‘In an ideal world, I wouldn't have brought him on (today) but obviously after losing Tunni we needed him and he came on and he did a good job for the team.’

On Tunnicliffe, Cowley added: 'It looks neural nerve-ralted), we think, which is better than being soft tissue.

‘It looks neural at the moment but we'll obviously have to let it settle and see where it's at.’