'Spoke last weekend' - Portsmouth's Danny Cowley on ex-Huddersfield, Lincoln and Swindon man Jack Payne amid transfer link

Danny Cowley revealed he remains in regular contact with Jack Payne - and hasn't ruled out working with the Swindon midfielder again in the future.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 8:37 am

The Pompey head coach will come up against one of his former recruits during tonight's League One trip to the County Ground.

Following Lincoln’s promotion to League One in 2019, Payne was arguably Cowley’s marquee signing that summer when in the Sincil Bank hot seat.

The ex-Southend man featured in every single minute of the opening six games as the Imps sat second in the table before Cowley made a shock exit to Championship Huddersfield.

After falling out of favour under Michael Appleton, Payne was sold to Swindon in August.

The 26-year-old has scored four times in 43 matches for the struggling Robins.

Yet he is facing a second relegation of his career, having also gone down with Bradford two years ago.

Payne also has two promotions on his C.V with Hudderfield and Blackburn.

CREWE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Jack Payne of Swindon during the Sky Bet League One match between Crewe Alexandra and Swindon Town at The Alexandra Stadium on December 01, 2020 in Crewe, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Cowley remains an admirer of Payne, however, amid online reports he’s Pompey's radar heading into the summer transfer window.

‘We love Jack, he was great for us and took us right to the top of League One while we were in it,’ Cowley told The News.

‘We had Harry Toffolo who was an overlapping full-back down the left and Jorge Grant in the left half-space.

On the right, Neil Erdley was more of a supporting full-back so I had Harry Anderson right on the touchline then Jack, who was in the number-10 role, played in the right half-space a lot and came in on his left foot.

‘We had asymmetrical balance and really nice feel and group with Tyler Walker in the number nine. I loved those boys.

‘Jack is a great lad with great energy, always smiling and I had to pull him off the training pitch. He's only little so can train every single minute of every day. He was a dream to Nicky and I.

‘He's a top boy, a top player with a great attitude and enthusiasm. He's got to be played in the right way and the right team to get the best of out him. You've got to believe in him.

‘I love Jack, really enjoyed working with him and still speak to him regularly. I spoke to him last weekend and always speak to old players. We're so proud of them, they're like our kids.’

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