Before yesterday’s Covid update from Fratton Park, where several cases had been recorded, the Pompey boss often had only 14 senior professionals to choose from because of injury, suspension and the sickness bug which took hold of the first-team set-up.
This forced players into unfamiliar territory, while handing opportunities for others to shine.
And with key injured players nearing returns to the pitch, the Blues head coach has welcomed the tough choices he will need to make.
in particular, Cowley is prepping for the imminent return of captain Clark Robertson, who has been sidelined since September.
But with Connor Ogilvie flourishing in his absent at centre-back, the former Lincoln boss explained how competition between the squad can only be a positive thing.
Speaking to The News, he said: ‘The way I see it, competition for places is what you want throughout the squad.
‘And I just see them as each others’ best friend because it’s what drives standards and improves performance.
‘Who wouldn’t want a really good player fighting for your position? Because you know it’s going to bring the best out in you. I only see the positives in it.
‘It would certainly be nice to have some difficult decisions to make, because I don’t think I’ve had one to make since I’ve been here.
‘Maybe Alex Bass and Gavin Bazunu, maybe Sean Raggett at the back end of last year, but very few difficult decisions.
‘And I’m looking forward to having some more come the new year.’
Robertson hasn’t featured for Pompey since the 1-0 defeat to MK Dons on September 11, 2021.
At first, it was a telling blow to the club as they conceded eight goals in the four matches which followed.
But because of Ogilvie’s emergence, the Fratton chief stressed how the club aren’t rushing their skipper back.
Cowley continued: ‘Clark’s on the grass and making good progress and we’re hoping to accelerate that because he’s a key player for us.
‘I think they’re (Robertson and Ogilvie) two players who can play together, for sure. But certainly when the team is doing well, it allows us to make sure that Clark is 100 percent match fit and firing on all cylinders.
‘Because the team that has been playing, even with all the things that have been going against us off the pitch, have done remarkably well.’
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