The ‘huge advantage’ being given to Portsmouth in their bid to beat the likes of Charlton Athletic, Oxford United, Ipswich Town, Blackpool and Lincoln City to the play-offs
Danny Cowley believes Pompey’s rivals are making tactical sacrifices in an effort to maintain his side’s threat.
And the Blues boss feels that is offering his team a ‘huge advantage’ as well paying them a sizeable compliment through the League One run-in.
Cowley reckons the high-tempo, high-pressing approach being employed since his arrival aligned with the quality in his team’s ranks, is having an impact on how opponents set up against Pompey Crewe were the latest side to change their approach on Tuesday night, as the Railwaymen ditched their expansive philosophy in favour of more basic play.
Others have done likewise in the six games the Cowleys have been in charge for - something the head coach sees a hugely beneficial to his team.
SUBSCRIBE today for the latest Pompey updateCowley said: ‘If you can change the way teams play so a team has to play with a different style or different formation, that they’re not so used to, not so familiar with or hasn’t been so well trained, that has to be a huge advantage to us.
‘If you go back, we go to Shrewsbury and they change their formation to a 4-3-3 at half time from a favoured 5-3-2.
‘I think then if you look at Rochdale we forced them to change in game as well and then obviously Crewe on Tuesday night.
‘So I do see that as a positive and as a compliment.
‘We want to be a forward thinking, forward running and forward passing team.
‘We want to play with a purpose, play with energy and a real aggression and intensity against the ball. That’s what we want to work towards.
‘We’re making progress and we’re making strides. Sometimes the results don’t always align.
‘In terms of chance creation on Tuesday we created the second most chances since we’ve been here. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to take them.
‘Sometimes when you score the first goal, it often creates a pathway to score the second and that the third. Football can often be very different when it’s 0-0 compared to when you’re in the lead. That’s just the nature of the game.’
Crewe boss David Artell pinpointed being on the same Uefa Pro Licence course as the Cowleys, as the reason for his change in philosophy and formation in Tuesday’s 0-0 drill.
The Pompey boss gave that notion short shrift, however, and felt previous success for him at Crewe along with their 6-0 hammering by Oxford United last weekend were more significant factors.
Cowley added: ‘Very good deflecting, David!
‘I’m actually going to be with him this weekend, it was a very good deflection because I think everyone knows how Crewe plays. I didn’t need to watch a presentation to know how Crewe Alexandra play and what their philosophy is.
‘We were all pretty clear on that, because they have a clear identity.
‘I think the defeat on Saturday and the fact we’ve been to Crewe before, pressed them very aggressively with a lot of success with our previous teams, maybe he changed his way and maybe he was using that as a deflection, I don’t know. He’s a clever guy, so who knows?’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
The News has launched a subscription offer which gives you unlimited access to all of our Pompey coverage, starting at less than 14p a day.
You can subscribe here to get the latest news from Fratton Park - and to support our local team of expert Pompey writers.