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Fixture News

Cowley: Embrace The Challenge

Boss looks ahead to Accrington test

8 May 2021

Danny Cowley
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Pompey had slipped out of the play-off picture when Danny Cowley was appointed head coach back in March.

But they head into the final round of League One fixtures knowing that a win would secure a spot in the top six.

Mid-table Accrington have been cast in the role of potential party poopers at Fratton Park on Sunday.

And while Cowley is expecting a tough test, he has urged his squad to grasp the prospect for extending their season with both hands.

The Blues boss said: “You live for weeks like this. Pressure is a wonderful privilege and it’s something that you have to embrace.

“We’ve earned the right for our fate to be in our own hands – and I have to credit the players for that because we arrived with the club in 10th position and without momentum.

“There have been key injuries and suspensions, but the boys have shown grit, resilience and determination to get into this position.

“The best teams and players take these opportunities when they arrive and that’s what we’re aiming to do.

"You live for weeks like this. Pressure is a wonderful privilege and it’s something that you have to embrace."

Danny Cowley

“But we’ve got huge respect for Accrington Stanley and John Coleman – they have some of the best players in this division.

“With the finances they have, they overachieve year after year and we know they love beating the big clubs.

“We’ll have to be at the very top of our game to overcome a very strong side and it’s a challenge we’re looking forward to.”

Cowley has paid tribute to Pompey hero Alan McLoughlin, who passed away earlier this week at the age of just 54.

He said: “It’s desperately sad news for everyone associated with this club. The word ‘legend’ is overused in football, but it’s the right one for him.

“I can remember Alan as a player – with his time at Pompey and Swindon – and the goal he scored for the Republic of Ireland to take them to the World Cup in 1994.

“You can tell from the outpouring of grief that he wasn’t just an unbelievable footballer, but also an unbelievable man.

“He touched a lot of lives in Portsmouth – and that includes some of the guys who are in our dressing room.”

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