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Fixture News

Cowley: Our Standards Must Be Higher

Boss reflects on FA Cup win over Harrow Borough

6 November 2021

Danny Cowley
Photo: Jason Brown

Pompey avoided an Emirates FA Cup upset to book their place in Monday night’s draw for the second round.

But Danny Cowley was far from pleased with the performance in a 1-0 victory over Harrow Borough at Fratton Park.

Marcus Harness coolly converted a Mahlon Romeo cut-back to net the only goal of the tie in the first half.

Several more chances were squandered, however, and Cowley felt the display in the second period left a lot to be desired.

The Blues boss said: “We’re pleased to win the game, we’re pleased to keep a clean sheet and we’re pleased to be in the next round. But we must play better than that.

“In the first half we got into some really positive areas and our use of the ball was good, although the decision making and execution was lacking a bit.

“But I didn’t like us after the break. I didn’t like the energy, the intensity or the purpose. I won’t come out and lie.

"These games aren’t all about tactics – they’re about application. In the second half I don’t think we showed enough of that."

Danny Cowley

“I told the players what I think. Our standards have to be much, much higher than that if we want to achieve anything this season.

“When there’s something I see that I don’t like, I’ll front up, look them in the eye and tell them what I think.

“We knew it would be a difficult game and I want to give massive credit to Steve Baker and his Harrow team – they were a credit to non-league football.

“I reminded our players what a privilege it is to be a professional player and doing something they love every day.

“Those in the Harrow side would love to be where we are and so you can never ever take it for granted.

“We’ve created enough to score four or five goals and it could have made it a lot easier for ourselves by scoring a second.

“I don’t think we managed the game as well as we could have towards the end and I wanted to see more aggression from us.

“These games aren’t all about tactics – they’re about application. In the second half I don’t think we showed enough of that.”


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