The key factor which made Portsmouth boss move for Millwall, Luton Town and Rotherham United Championship trio

Danny Cowley believes he’s made signings who can handle the burden of expectation at Pompey.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 4:30 pm

And the head coach explained having the strength of character to deal with the demands of getting the Blues out of League One at the fifth attempt, was a key factor in identifying the players he brought in last week.

Cowley oversaw a flurry of transfer activity which saw Clark Robertson, Shaun Williams and Ryan Tunnicliffe landed to kickstart the club’s recruitment.

All three arrived after operating in the Championship last season - and the Pompey boss explained that was no coincidence.

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Cowley said: ‘When you’re Portsmouth Football Club you’ve got to understand the size and the expectation of the club.

‘I think it’s an absolute privilege to play in front of such a support base.

‘But with that does come an expectation and demand.

From left, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Shaun Williams and Clark Robertson
From left, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Shaun Williams and Clark Robertson

‘If you sign players who are competent beyond the level, they should all thrive with the natural expectation of a club of this size.

‘I’ve lived the difference between League One and the Championship. I know the difference.

‘I feel we’ve made three really positive signings which will help us at the level.’

Williams arrives after seven years at Millwall and the former Republic of Ireland international will link up with former Lions team-mate, Tunnicliffe, at Fratton Park.

He added: ‘Both boys have lived Millwall and thrived in a Millwall environment, which is incredibly demanding.

‘When I look for Portsmouth players, I try to look for them making mistakes.

‘Every player makes mistakes, but it’s how you react to those mistakes.

‘When I watch Ryan and Shaun, when they do make mistakes they are always very brave and react well after it.

‘They want to get on the ball, are happy to receive it and always back themselves and play with that confidence and bravery.

‘Bravery comes in many forms. You can put your head in front of a flying boot which is one sign of bravery, but the other side of it is to receive the ball in tight areas when your team needs you most.

‘Both Shaun and Ryan will do that for us.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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