And the Blues boss is ready to sink a significant amount of his remaining budget into bringing in an attacking player in the middle of the park.
Cowley today told The News he’s closing in on landing his 11th summer signing, and is hopeful a new face could be in the bag by the time his side face Fleetwood Town on Saturday.
With only Shaun Williams and Ryan Tunnicliffe to call upon, the head coach wants additions to add cover in that area.
On top of that, a third player who can operate further forward is on Cowley’s radar - and he’s aware quality in that area of the pitch will come at a premium.
The 42-year-old has been delighted by Gassan Ahadme’s form in pre-season, but is wary of placing too much expectation on a player with no senior experience in English football.
So that is now likely to see the player hunt zero in on a creative opinion at the front end of midfield.
Cowley said: ‘We would like to keep building the squad.
‘We knew where we were at and we weren’t going to get to exactly where want to be off the back of one transfer window.
‘We’ve had to be really skilful in the way we work. We’ve had to be skilful with the free agents and skilful with the loans.
‘We still definitely need help in the middle of the park.
‘We look a bit like a polo mint at the moment - we’ve got a hole in the middle!
‘So that is the place we’re looking at. I think so (two players are needed in the middle), minimum.’
A third goalkeeper remains a consideration for Cowley, although Dan Gyollai has returned to Peterborough after a trial.
Online reports linking Pompey with Martin Cranie are wide of the mark, with the former Lincoln boss comfortable Connor Ogilvie offers versatile cover to Clark Robertson, Sean Raggett and Paul Downing.
So it’s the central area which is now getting attention ahead of the League One curtain-raiser at Highbury Stadium.
It may well be that sacrifices may have to be made with the existing staff to fund those moves.
Cowley added: ‘We’re always looking.
‘We’re always trying to improve - that’s the ambition.
‘There’s a group who have the shirt and there’s some competition.
‘But it’s important to keep driving the standards, and we want to keep trying to develop that competition because ultimately they become each others’ best friends as it drives standards and get the best out of them as people and players.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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