Straight-talking Portsmouth boss' message to Ellis Harrison as ex-Sheffield Wednesday and Plymouth target battles for Fratton future

Danny Cowley has challenged Ellis Harrison to prove he’s worth a new Pompey deal – or bid farewell to Fratton Park.

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 6:00 pm

The Blues boss remains an admirer of the powerful striker, who has endured an injury-ravaged 2021.

Now back in contention following a spell on the sidelines with an ankle injury, Harrison has come off the bench in each of Pompey’s last three fixtures.

The 27-year-old has endured a largely frustrating time at Fratton Park since his June 2019 arrival from Ipswich for a fee of around £450,000.

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With 19 goals in 81 matches for the Blues, the Welshman’s three-year contract is up at the end of the season.

Pompey’s head coach told The News: ‘Ellis can play a big part. I’ve been waiting since March and, for one reason or another, just haven’t had him available.

‘The transfer window is a month away and we have to get the very best out of Ellis in that time. Try to make sure that he can perform at his best – if he does then we’re not going to want him to go.

Danny Cowley has challenged Ellis Harrison to earn himself a new Fratton Park deal. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

‘If he doesn't do that then maybe there won’t be a lot of teams which want him.

‘I think it’s a really good time for Ellis because you are going to see him come back focused and highly motivated. That’s a good place for Ellis to be because that’s how we get the most out of him.

‘He is capable, let me tell you, he is really capable. He is coming out of contract in the summer and I told him the other day that I don’t want him to go somewhere else and do well to earn a new contract.

‘Come and do it here, there’s a great opportunity. Keep your head down, work hard, get yourself into the team, make the team better, and earn your contract here.

‘That is, without doubt still a possibility for him.

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‘It’s about focus, determination, every single day in training being the best version of yourself. He knows what he's capable of doing and brings personality and character.

‘I think he’s someone that exudes personality and character. He can bring that to the team – and that could really help the team.

‘As we all know, we are short of numbers and need everybody to contribute.’

Harrison is among 13 players out of contract at the season’s end, although, unlike others, there is no club option.

Close-friend John Marquis, Lee Brown, Marcus Harness and Sean Raggett are among others whose deals are scheduled to expire.

Cowley added: ‘Ellis is someone with pace, power and physicality at the top end of the pitch. I don’t think any other of our forwards bring that.

‘He also has some quality and a bit of spontaneity, maybe the unorthodox and unexpected, but when players pick up injuries, they lose their rhythm and flow.

‘Ipswich bought Ellis for £1m and Pompey paid £450,000 – you don’t do that without having some quality.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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