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Fixture News

Cowley: Welcome Back, Steve

Boss looks ahead to Shrewsbury clash

17 August 2021

Danny Cowley
Photo: Jason Brown

There will be a welcome face in the opposition dug-out when Shrewsbury head to the south coast this evening.

Steve Cotterill took charge of the visitors last November, but was admitted to intensive care after contracting Covid-19.

He has thankfully recovered and will be returning to Fratton Park, having previously taken charge of Pompey between 2010 and 2011.

And despite losing their opening two league fixtures, Danny Cowley believes Cotterill’s side will provide stern opposition.

The Blues boss said: “It’s great that he’s back and well again – football certainly missed Steve last season.

“Credit to him because even though he was really poorly with Covid, he found a way of helping his team from a distance.

“I remember when we went there in our second game at the club and had a really good first half, but he then made some really good tweaks at the break from afar to make it tougher for us.

“He’s a tactically astute manager and has had a lot of success at this level, as well as in the Championship.

“Shrewsbury have been really aggressive with their recruitment this summer and have surprised us with what they’ve been able to do.

“Although they’ve come up short in the first two league games, I’ve watched them both back and the margins have been very fine.

"It’s great that he’s back and well again – football certainly missed Steve last season."

Danny Cowley

“They could be sitting here with six points and there was also a good win against Lincoln in the Carabao Cup.”

Pompey are yet to concede a goal in the league this season, having enjoyed wins over Fleetwood and Crewe.

Cowley said: “Keeping clean sheets is important – all the promotions Nicky and I have had in our careers have been based on a really good defensive record.

“We know that if we want to achieve success at this club, then we need to concede less than a goal a game.

“It’s been a good start and we defended really well on Saturday at the top end of the pitch – if you do that, then you don’t have to worry about defending your own box.

“People always think that a clean sheet is all about the goalkeeper and the back four, but for us it’s an 11-man job.

“We were certainly pleased with our work against the ball against Crewe and want to make sure that continues.”

Cowley has almost a full squad to select from, with no players picking up any injuries over the weekend.

He said: “We’re pretty good on that front and have worked really hard to put a base of fitness into our squad.

“Barring Jayden Reid – who’s about to have his cruciate operation – and young Liam Vincent, we’ve got a clean bill of health.”

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