The stark Danny Cowley message which has brought Portsmouth goal hero Lee Brown crashing back to earth

Lee Brown has been told to stop the goal celebrations – and improve his Pompey defending.

By Neil Allen
Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 6:00 am
Lee Brown netted twice for Pompey in their crucial 3-1 win at AFC Wimbledon. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages
Lee Brown netted twice for Pompey in their crucial 3-1 win at AFC Wimbledon. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

That’s the tongue-in-cheek message from Danny Cowley after the left-back emerged as the Blues’ shock matchwinner at AFC Wimbledon.

Brown netted once in his previous 105 appearances for Pompey since arriving in June 2018 from Bristol Rovers.

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Perfect timing from the 30-year-old upon his return to the side for a match the Blues had to win to maintain their play-off ambition.

But Cowley has swiftly brought the defender back down to the earth.

He told The News: ‘They were good goals, I was pleased with Lee, but he needs to defend better at times and I’ve told him!

‘When we get back in on Tuesday, we’ll do some one-to-one defending, some organisation, and get his feet back on the floor and doing what he is paid to do.

‘Lee played in our first four games which we won, then got injured 26 minutes into the Burton match and we’ve missed him.

‘We’ve missed him on the pitch, missed his personality, missed his goals.

‘I said to him that what happens to players when they’re injured is they can grow in your mind and get better and better and better. As a manager or coach, they get better.

‘When I woke up Wednesday morning, I wasn’t thinking Lee Brown – I was more thinking Roberto Carlos!

‘I didn't quite think he was going to play like Roberto Carlos.’

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Brown recently missed five matches with a third hamstring problem this season, coinciding with a dip in Pompey’s form.

Cowley’s men won just once during that period – a 1-0 triumph over Bristol Rovers – as their play-off challenge stuttered.

Meanwhile, replacement left-back Charlie Daniels failed to impress, prompting the Blues to switch to a back three against Bristol Rovers and Accrington.

Now Brown is available for the run in as Pompey seek victory over Accrington on Sunday to book a League One play-off semi-final place.

Cowley added: ‘We have missed Lee’s personality and missed him on the pitch.

‘His return has allowed us to go to a back four, which we wanted to do with the personnel we had available.

‘He’s got a great relationship with Ronan in front of him, while him and Rags have played a lot of football together. They were the main reasons.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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