The recruitment key which can make Portsmouth more potent transfer force in January

Danny Cowley believes his January window record more than stands up to inspection.

By Jordan Cross
Saturday, 18th December 2021, 4:55 am

But the Pompey boss has highlighted another key factor he reckons will aid his club, as they prepare to go into transfer battle next month.

There’s plenty of trepidation among supporters about what lies ahead, when it comes to recruitment in the coming weeks.

That’s largely because of a poor Pompey record in recent seasons in the winter window.

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The Blues have topped the table at Christmas in two of the past three seasons, only to fall away over the second half of the campaign.

The business conducted at the half-way point of the season has been forwarded as a key factor in the team stalling.

Of the 18 signings made over the past four seasons, only Steve Seddon’s loan arrival from Birmingham could be seen as a clear success with Andy Cannon and Anton Walkes also being sturdy additions.

Cowley is confident that can change, however, and it’s not just he own success rate fuelling that attitude.

Pompey boss Danny Cowley and CEO Andy Cullen face a busy transfer window. Picture: Stuart Martin (220421-7042)

After a frenetic summer overhaul with 15 players arriving and 18 departing after his March arrival, the Londoner has now had time to work with his recruitment team.

And Cowley feels gaining a reciprocal understanding with the likes of head of recruitment, Phil Boardman, and head of football operations, Roberto Gagliardi can reap dividends in the new year.

He said: ‘The longer we work together the better the understanding we have of each other.

‘I definitely think the January window will be better than the summer window because it’s our second window together, and we now all know how each other work.

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‘We understand the process, what will work and we have more clarity over what we need and want.

‘No doubt, the third window will be better than the second because that’s how relationships build and develop.

‘It does take time, but for those reasons I think the January window will be better than the summer window.’

Cowley explained how an understanding of what is making Pompey succeed - and fail - this season will be significant when it comes to being successful with signings.

Likewise, the recruitment staff coming to an understanding of the DNA the Blues boss is trying to create will be important.

The time the staff have had together will definitely help on that front - although Cowley is clear there is a lot of improvement still to be made.

He added: ‘I think with any recruitment it’s first understanding your own performance - how you win and why you come up short.

‘Then once you know and know what your key performance indicators are, it gives you much more clarity over the type of players you need to improve.

‘We’re still working towards being that high-energy, high-intensity attacking team.

‘Also we’re working towards the culture of the club and that humble, hard-working desire to wake up every morning and want to get better.

‘Recruiting good players who are liked-minded and aligned to your values and vision - we can definitely accelerate that process.’

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