Why Danny Cowley's bid for Portsmouth success does not depend on huge transfer budgets like Ipswich's

Danny Cowley’s primary focus as the transfer window clock ticks down remains recruitment.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 4:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 4:31 pm

But away from the public gaze as he plots his next dip into the transfer market, the former PE teacher is placing emphasis on another key contributor to success – in his opinion, of course.

As well has imparting his knowledge on how he wants his new-look Pompey side to play from a coaching perspective, the importance of learning and developing that as a skill is also imperative to long-term glory, in Cowley’s eyes.

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That’s not surprising given his previous profession.

And when you see how passionately the Blues head coach speaks on the subject, you soon understand why.

There has been frustration from all corners of Fratton Park over the Blues’ spending power this summer.

No doubt it’s been exacerbated by the likes of Ipswich’s purchasing history over the past few months.

Pompey head coach Danny Cowley

But in Cowley’s opinion, money doesn’t guarantee success

There’s more to it than that – like planning, people skills, joint-up thinking and going the extra mile for others.

According to the Pompey boss, they’re the key ingredients to developing a winning culture and even ‘achieving the impossible’ – along with the ability to learn.

Speaking on a recent Kairos Sports Tech webinar on ‘Cultural excellence’, Cowley explained his thinking.

He said: ‘Planning is everything to us.

‘Nothing happens without absolute detailed planning, so everything is planned to the minute detail to try to achieve the marginal gain.

‘And this process of learning – learning is the best skill in the world.

‘Now, I’ve seen some unbelievable teachers in my life time, who teach people how to learn.

‘So who teaches people how to learn? If this is the best skill, why don’t we teach this skill?

‘How do we teach people to become good learners? What does a good learner look like?

‘For me, I love learners who are curious, that are critical thinkers, that maybe can be open-minded – and, yeah, these are really important skills for me.

‘So how do we develop that?

‘(In football) it’s not just about teaching and coaching a skill.

‘If we can develop people as learners then that will improve their ability to be able to take on information, develop understanding, and, as a consequence of that, develop their skills set.

‘People are always in the middle of it for me, too.

‘I think this is so important – you’re only ever as good as your people.

‘And from that we believe we have the opportunity to create a winning culture.

‘I think, if you can create alignment, and you can get everybody in line, pointing in the same direction and that joint-up thinking, then you create winning on winning, because the great thing for me about winning is that it creates further opportunity, and that’s what interests me and I think if you do all of that, then you stand for something.

‘Then you can belong and when you feel that sense of belonging, that to me is really powerful and you then get people to go the extra yard.

‘And if you can get people to go the extra yard, then you can start to achieve things that maybe people didn’t think we possible.’