And the Blues boss has insisted the buck stops with him, when it comes to accountability for the issues impacting his side’s form.
The pressure is on Cowley after a single win from 12 games, going into a testing trip to Accrington Stanley on Saturday.
Pompey go into the game trying to plug holes in a leaky defence, after eight goals were shipped in two games.
Injuries to Clark Robertson, Paul Downing and fit-again Connor Ogilvie have exposed gaps in defensive options.
Cowley admitted there’s been errors made as he carried out a massive summer overhaul amid upheaval at the club, as 18 players departed and 15 arrived.
He said: ‘We’ve had an awful lot to do in the summer in a tough period.
‘We lost Mark Catlin, a key figure, and Andy Cullen came in.
‘There was that changeover period, a new academy manager and a lot of change.
‘It was the toughest window we’ve had. I felt that at the time.
‘There was lots to do - we went into pre-season without a midfielder at the club.
‘That was the hand we were dealt and we were in position we were the budget, with the owners totally clear on how they would work.
‘They spent on getting through the pandemic, stadium and training ground - and a lot of our budget was taken up.
‘So we couldn’t afford to make mistakes - and we’ve made some mistakes.
‘I’ll let you decide that (if they were calculated risks he needed to take), but it hasn’t been straightforward.
‘It’s been a tough gig, but we’ve had lots of tough gigs in the past.
‘But no we haven’t (faced a challenge as tough), not to this point.
‘We haven’t been good enough to this point - but we have to wake up and try to be better.’
Supporters have vented their frustrations over the events of the past week with plenty of justification.
Cowley, the club’s owners and players have all been in the firing line when it comes to who is being deemed culpable.
The Pompey boss is clear he feels he has to shoulder the blame, but promised the graft is being put in to turn things around.
He added: ‘If I do well someone will tell me and I will get a pat on the back.
‘Then when you don’t do well, you deserve criticism.
‘You have to be honest and open. You can bury your head in the sand, make excuses and blame the players - but I’d rather look at myself.
‘You learn all the time - and we haven’t got it all right.
‘It hasn’t been through a lack of trying, I can promise you that.
‘It was March 19 we started here - and I haven’t had a day off. We’ve worked every single day.
‘The staff are working really hard.
‘The ground staff, ticket office, commercial, Andy Cullen, Tony Brown, the chef and the media guys.
‘They are working hard and we’re letting them down.
‘So what do you have to do? You have to front up.’
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