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Fixture News

Cowley: We Coped With The Conditions

Boss reflects on victory over Sunderland

2 October 2021

Danny Cowley
Photo: Jason Brown

Pompey were leading league leaders Sunderland at Fratton Park, but there were plenty of nerves among the home support.

Not because of the threat of a comeback, but rather that the atrocious conditions would bring a premature halt to proceedings.

The home side had a three-goal lead by the interval, courtesy of goals from Marcus Harness, Lee Brown and John Marquis.

And the latter added another after the break, by which time the rain was torrential and standing water was making play difficult in the corners.

Thankfully, however, the action reached a natural conclusion and Danny Cowley was delighted that it did.

The Blues boss said: “The players needed that, the staff needed it and our wonderful supporters certainly needed it.

“It was a really good performance and so now we have to make sure we use it as a catalyst to push on.

“We decided to go with the same team and knew we’d be criticised for that if it didn’t work out.

"But I could see the hurt in their eyes and they felt they owed each other, so there was a huge motivation.

“The conditions meant we had to formulate a game-plan and we dealt with them really well, showing an energy, intensity and purpose.

"The groundstaff are the ‘men of the match’ for getting the game on and also for allowing us to finish it."

Danny Cowley

“We were better kicking into the shallow end and once we got armbands for Joe Morrell, it was alright!

“Just before half-time the corners were starting to get wet and with the way things have been going, you wonder if anything will turn out right for us.

“The groundstaff are the 'men of the match' for getting the game on and also for allowing us to finish it.

“It would have taken a very brave referee to have called that off – I’m not sure he’d have got out of Fratton Park alive!

“Lee Johnson was doing his best and you can’t blame him for that. I would have been asking the same questions in that position.

“We’re very respectful of Sunderland because they’re a huge club and made a fantastic start to the season, but we showed what we’re capable of and now have to find some consistency.”

Pompey had gone seven league matches without a win and Cowley was pleased that a positive performance finally yielded the deserved outcome.

He said: “Statistically, we’re the best pressing team in the division and have had the most entries into the final third.

“But we haven’t turned them into goalscoring opportunities and when we have, we haven’t taken them.

“So this result is pleasing and although we now have the international break, the boys will be in training all week and looking to build on it.”

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