Portsmouth boss knows consequences of criticising players publicly

Danny Cowley admitted he’s acutely aware of the repercussions of slamming his players publicly.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 5:00 pm

But the Pompey boss believes he has a duty to deliver an honest assessment of his side’s shortcomings to supporters.

Cowley has given an insight into treading a delicate and diplomatic path, when it comes to his public messages as the Blues struggle for form.

The 43-year-old has been forthright in his views over his squad’s mental toughness and difficulty in responding to adversity.

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But there is also a clear need to keep a small squad of players on board in testing circumstances.

Cowley is adamant he will never single out individuals for criticism, while being conscious of the need to be sincere in his messages to fans.

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He said: ‘I’ll never criticise players publicly.

Danny Cowley talks to the press

‘I will always try to give an honest appraisal of what I’ve seen, but I will never criticise individually.

‘The media and the supporters will do that, it’s the world we live in.

‘It’s a highly critical world we live in, and there’s only so much criticism one human can take.

‘Maybe you do want to criticise them sometimes! Sometimes after a game emotions are high, you have to be careful what you say.

‘The supporters don’t want to hear me talking about protecting the players, because they are really annoyed and angry with them - fair dos.

‘But it’s our job to get them to perform again with a quick turnaround.

‘There has to be a fine balance between keeping it authentic and real - but understanding they are human beings.’

Cowley explained how he uses Pompey’s support at games as his indicator of the feeling among his club’s fanbase.

But the Londoner is aware his players will also give credence to views being forwarded on social media.

He added: ‘I think the supporters at games are the best barometer, and they’ve been brilliant.

‘In many ways it would be better if they were hammering me, but we need that support to stay on board.

‘I don’t tend to read social media too much, but I’m sure I’m getting hammered there!

‘No doubt the players are getting criticised heavily and most of them read it, because that’s young people for you.

‘They are under a lot of pressure themselves.

‘So you have to be conscious of this - but also deal in the truth.’

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