'We must protect him': Portsmouth boss targets revitalising luckless player's frustrating Blues career

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He has featured a mere 19 times during John Mousinho’s Pompey reign.

Now the Blues’ head coach has pledged to ‘protect’ Tom Lowery to boost the talented midfielder’s frustrating availability record.

The 26-year-old’s injury issues have dogged his two-year Fratton Park stay, lengthy periods of inactivity under Danny Cowley and now Mousinho.

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Last term it was meniscus damage to his left knee on the opening day against Bristol Rovers, requiring an operation, followed by a hamstring tear.

Tom Lowery (right) in pre-season with Paddy Lane and Ryley Towler. Picture: Habibur RahmanTom Lowery (right) in pre-season with Paddy Lane and Ryley Towler. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Tom Lowery (right) in pre-season with Paddy Lane and Ryley Towler. Picture: Habibur Rahman | Habibur Rahman

As a consequence, Lowery made just nine appearances during the League One title-winning campaign.

But Mousinho has a plan to ensure the former Crewe match is kept on the pitch as much as possible.

He told The News: ‘It’s an interesting one with Tom.

‘We felt we were in a really good spot with him last season going into Cambridge United. We spoke to him before the game, he didn’t feel anything in the warm-up. Then he came off with that hamstring injury.

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‘I think we're just got to be cautious with Tom and maybe be aware of the fact that, if it’s a Saturday-Tuesday, maybe it’s not the greatest idea to play and start him, even if he’s feeling great.

‘That is probably one of the most frustrating things for players sometimes. Even when they’re feeling great, we have to protect them a bit more, so perhaps we do that with Tom this season.

‘It’s a weird one, since Tom’s come back he’s been right at the top of all the running, he’s very fit, a strong young lad, and does all his work in the gym as well.

‘We’ll protect all the players in pre-season to a certain extent, but Tom, in particular, we’ll make sure we keep an eye on.’

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Cowley and Mousinho both rate Lowery highly, while the midfielder continues to be extremely popular with the Fratton faithful, hence that familiar chant.

Certainly as far as performances go, Mousinho has no complaints.

He added: ‘Tom has always done well for us. 

‘He did it at the back end of 2022-23, coming in and doing really well, while last season he started our first game.

‘Then he came back and had a real impact in January when we were really struggling. He was fantastic against Fleetwood. He wasn’t set to start against Port Vale, then Marlon pulled out ill on the morning, so Tom also started that.

‘We wanted to rest him against Oxford and unfortunately Joe Morrell picked up the injury during the game, so Tom came on as substitute.

‘He’s a really good player.’

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