The Portsmouth Tuesday night hoodoo which threatens Danny Cowley's Blues resurrection
Danny Cowley is seeking to banish his midweek hoodoo – by claiming a rare victory under the Fratton Park lights.
The Blues face Cheltenham tomorrow (7.45pm) having won just one of their previous seven Tuesday night fixtures this season.
That was the 1-0 triumph over Shrewsbury in mid-August, which elevated Pompey into League One’s top spot for a brief period.
However, it represents a rare success – and the sole win in 10 midweek games overall at the Blues helm.
In terms of this season, there’s been Carabao Cup elimination at Millwall and two defeats in the Papa John’s Trophy, a competition which the Blues once ruled supreme.
In addition, Cowley’s men lost in League One against Burton and Ipswich, the latter one of the more abject displays in recent times.
Although Pompey did claim a 2-2 draw with Plymouth at Fratton Park in September, albeit a point earned courtesy of Sean Raggett’s last-gasp finish.
Now Cowley’s preparing to lock horns with Cheltenham in a rearranged match against the 16th-placed side.
Certainly the head coach will be seeking a reversal of fortunes following a sustained spell of miserable midweek results during the opening three months of the campaign.
That represented a second victory in 14 matches, in the process registering a second clean sheet in their last 13 outings.
Yet Cowley’s midweek jinx continues to nag away as he strives to maintain an encouraging run of results since the Ipswich debacle.
It’s an issue not merely associated with this season, however.
After taking over in March, initially on a temporary basis, Cowley failed to win any of his three Tuesday evening fixtures last season.
That consisted of draws at Crewe and Accrington, along with an awful 3-1 defeat at relegation-bound Swindon.
Overall, Pompey’s head coach has won one of his 10 midweek games in charge – and lost six of them.
Although he did claim non-Saturday victories over Rochdale (Friday) and Wigan (Monday) last season.
There was also a Sunday afternoon defeat on the final day against Accrington which deprived the Blues of the play-off spot they occupied before kick-off.
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