Revealed: Danny Cowley's five-point plan of attack to get Portsmouth back in the goals

Danny Cowley has put together a blueprint which he believes will deliver goals for Pompey.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 4:55 am

The Blues head coach conceded there’s plenty of work to be done in order to improve his side’s threat in the final third.

And he’s already set in motion the groundwork needed to get the desired results on match days – with a five-point action plan at the forefront of his move forward.

Pompey head into Saturday’s League One game against Cambridge United as one of the division’s lowest scorers.

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Their four goals from six games is bettered by 19 of the third tier’s 23 other teams.

Indeed, their offering to date places them above bottom-two Doncaster Rovers and Crewe, both on two, in the goalscoring charts – and just ahead of Shrewsbury (3), who sit fourth from bottom in the league standings.

That’s led many to question the manager’s decision not to add to his forward ranks ahead of last month’s transfer window deadline, with Pompey now heading into the autumn months with just John Marquis, Ellis Harrison and Leicester loanee George Hirst as out-an-out striker options.

It’s also promoted many to criticise both Marquis and Harrison’s goal returns for the club since their arrivals in 2019.

Pompey boss Danny Cowley. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/

But Cowley believes now is not the time to dwell on such issues.

Instead, he’d rather work on finding a solution on the training pitch.

And with five key areas he believes his side can improve on – speed, execution, decision-making, confidence and team work – he is of the opinion that improvements can be achieved.

Speaking about his efforts on the training pitch, Cowley told The News: ‘We've been doing some work in certain areas.

‘I won't divulge too much because we can't give it away to your opponent.

‘But there's been areas where we've been looking to create more penetration in the final third and we're working hard to try to effect that.

‘We think that's a big part in trying to create more chances.

'You are always trying to improve the team.

‘We're very, very early as a team and you know, if we're honest, this is the first week that we've had the whole group together.

‘But we're trying to accelerate the process and I think you can do that through good coaching.

‘The time you get on the grass is really good time for us.

‘We want to add more speed to our play, we want to improve our execution and decision making at speed, I think that is important.

'And, like I said before, (I want to see a) willingness to make sacrificial runs sometimes for others and decoy runs that maybe you don't get the first pass but you create space for someone else and you can pick the next phase of play up.

‘So, yeah, there's a lot of work we've been doing in the final third and sometimes also it's confidence.

‘The more the attacking players get the chance to hit the back of the net the better they feel – and the better they feel the better they play.’

Harrison is Pompey’s top goalscorer this season, with all of his three goals coming in the Blues’s 5-3 Papa John’s Trophy defeat at AFC Wimbledon.

Below the former Ipswich man is Marquis, Lee Brown, Marcus Harness, Ryan Tunnicliffe and Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, who all have one goal to their name in all competitions.