Portsmouth boss reveals how Richard Hughes' 'crucial' appointment will impact on his own managerial performance

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Danny Cowley is convinced Pompey’s ‘crucial’ sporting director appointment can remove some of the shackles hampering his managerial duties.

The Blues have appointed Richard Hughes to the role, just five months after rejecting the opportunity.

On that occasion, the 34-year-old opted to instead sign a new deal with Forest Green Rovers – but has now been lured to Fratton Park.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cowley was given a voice in the process to identify Roberto Gagliardi’s replacement, having worked with a director of football at Lincoln and, alongside two, at Huddersfield.

Certainly Pompey’s head coach recognises the necessity for such a role – and believes Hughes’ arrival can also lift some of the burdens from his own job.

He told The News: ‘We’re really pleased to be able to bring someone of Richard’s experience and expertise to the club.

‘He has a proven track record and I just think it’s a really important role for the club moving forward.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘If we want to have sustained success then the key is the way we support the first-team. Whether that be in the Academy, recruitment, medical and sports science or analysis, I know he’ll be able to drive the standards and drive the performance in those areas.

Danny Cowley is delighted with the appointment of Richard Hughes as Pompey's sporting director. Picture: Barry ZeeDanny Cowley is delighted with the appointment of Richard Hughes as Pompey's sporting director. Picture: Barry Zee
Danny Cowley is delighted with the appointment of Richard Hughes as Pompey's sporting director. Picture: Barry Zee

‘I wake every morning with about 28 players at the forefront of my mind and sometimes staff suffer as a consequence because I’m not able to give them the support they deserve.

‘It has been pretty full-on and busy since Roberto left in February and that role is crucial for me, Nicky and the rest of our staff.

‘We want to be involved in the strategy of the club and working towards our vision, but we’re also caught up in fixtures, which pretty much come around every three days.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘It’s sometimes really hard to keep driving the strategy of the club forward when you’re so caught up in preparing for the next fixture.

‘That’s where our roles become intertwined and is exactly what the football club needed.’

Having missed out on Hughes at the start of the summer and seen other candidates drop out, Andy Cullen reset the hunt for a sporting director.

And the Blues chief executive’s calmness over the process paid dividends, finally getting their man at the second attempt.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cowley added: ‘I like how hard-working Richard is, I like how open-minded he is, I like the fact he has no ego.

‘Since Roberto left, we’ve been in this process of trying to appoint the right person and the club have been really patient.

‘They were really clear on the person they wanted and had to wait, which meant we kind of had to navigate through the summer transfer window, with everybody stepping up.

‘That allowed us the opportunity to be a bit more patient – and eventually get the person we wanted.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Whether you're gazing out over the Mediterranean or spending this summer at home, take advantage of our 50% discount on an annual sports or regular digital subscription, from just £25!

We will be on the ball with all the latest Pompey news, match coverage, off-the-pitch features, and analysis from Fratton Park all year round.

Purchase your annual digital package and use promo code SUMSP50 at checkout.