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Fixture News

Cowley: We Have To Be Flexible

Boss looks ahead to Morecambe test

9 December 2021

Danny Cowley
Photo: Jason Brown

Danny Cowley has not had a great deal of selection headaches over the past few weeks.

Unfortunately, the main for reason for that is having a small pool of players to choose from due to injuries and a sickness bug that continues to work its way through the squad.

Several players have missed training sessions or, in some cases, been forced to sit out matches during a busy spell.

Despite that, Pompey are currently enjoying an impressive eight-match unbeaten run in the league to revitalise promotion hopes.

And Cowley is keen for the momentum to keep building when Morecambe visit the south coast on Saturday.

The Blues boss said: “It’s a real challenge and we’re still feeling the unavailability we have in the group – through illness and injury.

“I received another text message early on Thursday morning from a player who had to pull out of training.

“The situation is what it is, though, and we’ve done well in recent weeks to find some solutions to that.

“We’re all feeling extremely focused and determined to find even more answers on Saturday afternoon.

“Every precaution is being taken – which is something we’ve all become used to since the outbreak of Covid. You have to be more vigilant, but some of these viruses are difficult to stop.

"We’re all feeling extremely focused and determined to find even more answers on Saturday afternoon."

Danny Cowley

“Michael Jacobs and Joe Morrell are still feeling the effects, although we remain hopeful they’ll be okay come Saturday.

“But we could have around 14 or 15 senior players at the weekend and there will be opportunities for some of our young players to come into the squad.

“We’ve done really well to go eight league games unbeaten in what is an extremely competitive division this season.

“We’re delighted with that level of flexibility and we’ve had to find a way to be adaptable enough to get through this period.

“It feels very much like an ‘against all odds’ effort in a three-game week where we haven’t been able to freshen things up.”

Pompey face a Morecambe side who are looking to bounce back from their 5-0 defeat at Sunderland on Tuesday night.

Cowley said: “I’ve got a lot of respect for them and thought they were the most organised side in League Two last season.

“They were particularly good against the ball and gave away very little space before winning it and countering quickly.

“Morecambe had a positive start to the current season and although there’s been a difficult run of late, we know they’ll be motivated to put that disappointment behind them.”

It has been almost three months since Clark Robertson last took to the pitch, but the skipper could make his return from a hip injury before the end of December.

Cowley said: “He’s back on the grass and slowly building up his programme. We’re hopeful he’ll be back with the rest of the group in the next couple of weeks.”

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