The toughest time to face struggling clubs - Danny Cowley wary of Portsmouth promotion run-in

Head coach Danny Cowley shrugged off Pompey’s encouraging fixture list and insisted – we’ve got a huge challenge.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 6:30 am
Pompey rose to fifth after victory at Shrewsbury. In their last 10 games, they play six of the bottom seven. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

In addition, 12th-placed MK Dons are the highest-ranking club they are scheduled to meet from now until the season’s end.

It represents a heartening run-in on paper for a Pompey side which are presently fifth.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

However, Cowley is wary of facing struggling sides during a period when he believes they are at their most dangerous.

He told The News: ‘We have some tough remaining games and some tough challenges, which we are really looking forward to.

‘We are playing six of the bottom seven. The time of the season when the teams at the bottom win the most is normally March and April – that is from my experiences.

‘You always see really highly-motivated teams who are fighting relegation and, as a consequence of that, you often find that’s when they pick the most points up.

‘So I actually see that as a huge challenge.

‘I suppose the teams you want to play are mid-table, almost playing dead rubbers, but sometimes they play with a carefree attitude and can be dangerous as a consequence.

‘Ultimately for us, take each game at its merit, be respectful of the opponent, know the opponent’s strengths, know the areas where maybe we can expose them.

‘Let’s get us playing to the best of our abilities, that’s where a huge amount of energy each week goes into us, our principles and our concepts.’

Pompey entertain bottom club Rochdale on Good Friday, followed by a trip to struggling Wigan on Bank Holiday Monday.

Of others in the relegation zone, there’s also Bristol Rovers (April 24) and AFC Wimbledon (May 1).

Cowley added: ‘League One is such a tough league in respect of there is very little between all the teams.

‘I genuinely don’t see the difference between any game at this level. Every game brings its challenges.

‘What I do know is my ambition for this group is to get them playing consistently well and performing consistently well, so we can win every football match.

‘And I genuinely believe that is possible.’

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.