Portsmouth transfer news: Danny Cowley reveals the number of new players he'll be targeting this summer in latest squad revamp

Pompey head coach Danny Cowley has identified the number of players he’ll ideally be targeting in the summer as he emphasised the need for continuity at Fratton Park.

By Mark McMahon
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 12:29 pm

The Blues boss has overseen two squad overhauls already since his permanent appointment last May.

The 2020-21 close season saw Cowley say goodbye to 11 permanent signings made by his predecessor Kenny Jackett, along with the four loanees he inherited and a host of academy youngsters.

That was cancelled out by the arrival of 15 new players.

Meanwhile, although on a lesser scale, the process was repeated in January as the former Lincoln boss continued to stamp his personality on Pompey.

Indeed, the transfer window saw seven players leave, including another loan for Haji Mnoga, and five alternatives found as Cowley took further action to become more settled with his lot.

That means the Blues boss has oversaw more than 40 transfers since he arrived last March.

Pompey boss Danny Cowley

And while he wishes to stabilise that figure this summer, Cowley admitted further surgery will be needed at the end of the season if he is to make Pompey serious promotion contenders next term.

Five to six additional new players, in fact, which suggests some of the seven senior players who’s deals expire at the end of the season could remain – as could some of the five currently on loan at Fratton Park.

When asked about his plans for the coming transfer window during an appearance on Express FM on Monday, Cowley said: ‘It will be a challenge, for sure.

‘We want to try to get the continuity and we would like to be in a position where we're maybe making 5-6 changes to the squad and not nine or 10 as we envisaged this summer.

‘That's ultimately where we are at as a football club and that's why we're in a transitional period.’

As well as concentrating on his playing staff, Cowley said much emphasis had been placed on the first-team environment during his one year in the job.

That, he believes, ‘takes excuses away from the players’ and gives them the best opportunity to play at a consistent level.

Work continues in that area – as does the head coach’s desire for continuity in the group.

At present, only Sean Raggett, Marcus Harness, Michael Jacobs and Ronan Curtis remain from the squad Cowley inherited from Jackett.

And with the current squad now an image of how he wants them to look and play, he believes continuity will be as equally as important as new additions moving forward.

Cowley added: ‘We're trying to accelerate through this period as quickly as we can because we know that, to have success – and if I look back on the promotion's I've had as a manager – it's always been on strong, steady foundations, and I think, for us, first and foremost, when we arrived it was to affect the culture.

‘We wanted to try to create an elite environment. I still think we're working towards that.

‘We've certainly made gradual steps and gradual progress with a lot of provisions that support the first team.

‘We're trying to improve the environment every day and I think you want to try and create an environment that takes the excuses away from the players.

‘It's an environment where the players are really well supported, not pampered, but really well supported, and it gives them an opportunity to play at their best on a consistent basis.

‘But we do know that human relationships and human connections come over time, so if we can try to create continuity, particularly with regards the playing personnel, then that will definitely help us.’