Why gameless Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley will have one eye on League One’s fixtures on Saturday – with Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich and Bolton all on his radar
There’ll be no rest for Danny Cowley this weekend despite Pompey’s lack of action.
The Blues boss will have his eye on a number of key League One fixtures that are taking place despite the current international break – all with a relevance for the Fratton Park head coach.
Indeed, by 5pm on Saturday, Pompey’s league position may have changed, while three of the five teams they play next are in action.
In terms of league placings, Pompey could drop down to 12th in the table if Sheffield Wednesday win or even draw against high-flying Bolton at Hillsborough.
Following their relegation from the Championship last term, Darren Moore’s side are still to find their feet in the third tier, with only four wins from their 10 games played.
A 2-1 home defeat to Oxford last time out will have knocked their confidence further.
And with their last league victory at Hillsborough dating back to August 17, the pressure will be on the Owls.
It’ll be no easy task against the Trotters, though, with manager Ian Evatt knowing victory at Hillsborough could see his side climb to third in the table.
They’ve been one of the surprise packages already this season in League One.
And with a trip to Pompey on the horizon on October 30, they’ll be keen to demonstrate once again – following victories at Lincoln, Ipswich and Charlton – that they’re not here to make up the numbers and should be taken seriously.
Cowley will also have a special interest in how Paul Cook’s Ipswich fare against Shrewsbury at Portman Road, with the Tractor Boys travelling to Fratton Park in 11 days’ time.
Despite a massive summer outlay on new players, it hasn’t exactly been plain sailing for Cook & Co.
They’ve won just two of their 10 games to date in the division as they sit 19th.
However, victory against Steve Cotterill’s second-from-bottom outfit could see them move to within two points of the 11th-placed Blues.
After gaining one point from recent fixtures against Plymouth and Burton, Saturday’s clash between those two will give Cowley further notification of where Pompey are.
Despite performing well against Ryan Lowe’s Argyle, individual errors in defence meant Pompey had to salvage a draw in injury-time, thanks to Sean Raggett.
And the 2-1 defeat at the Pirelli Stadium was a damming indication that the Blues had to vastly improve, which they did a week later by beating Sunderland 4-0.
Victory for the Pilgrims could see them move to the league’s summit, whereas Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s Brewers could sneak into a play-off place with three points.
Wycombe will also be looking to claim top spot in League One this weekend when they host Gillingham.
That fixture at Adams Park will allow Cowley to do some early homework as Pompey face both before the end of next month.