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Fixture News

Cowley: We Need To Improve Goal Return

Boss looks ahead to MK Dons test

10 September 2021

Danny Cowley
Photo: Jason Brown

Pompey’s opening five League One matches this season have seen them concede a measly one goal.

But they have also managed to find the net just four times themselves, with no player netting more than once so far.

So Danny Cowley knows where his side need to improve if they are to mount a successful 2021/22 campaign.

And there has been plenty of work on the training pitch to improve their strike rate ahead of Saturday’s trip to MK Dons.

The Blues boss said: “We have a clear way of playing and have been disappointed with our goal creation.

“That’s particularly true for the last game at Wigan, when we had so much control and looked dominant.

“There’s work for us to do there and we know the easiest way to score in football is by winning the ball high up the pitch.

“You want to get the transition before your opponents have the chance to organise themselves and get their defence set up.

“That’s always our first ambition. We know that we can get goals that way and we’ve also been doing work on our patterns.

"We have a clear way of playing and have been disappointed with our goal creation."

Danny Cowley

“We want to keep developing our ideas, as well as the understanding in the group, which can help us moving forward.

“There has also been some work on that final pass, which is so crucial. We have belief in the players that we have – you only need to look at them to see there are goals in there.

“We’ve been pleased with our work against the ball, though, and to concede just once in five games is a real testament, not just to the keeper and defence because it’s an 11-man job.

“We’re still a million miles away from being where we want to be – but we’re certainly enjoying the journey we’re on.”

Saturday’s opponents are one point behind Pompey, having played a game more, and drew at Cheltenham last weekend.

Cowley said: “MK Dons have a clear blueprint and when the manager moved on early in the season, it made it easier for the powers there to appoint someone who fitted with that identity.

“It’s been quite a smooth transition from Russell Martin to Liam Manning – as you can see from their results.

“They’ve recruited aggressively and have got a good team, so we’re under no illusion about how tough the game is going to be.

“It’s a big stadium there and we found it tough last season when it was empty. We need our supporters and they will be massive for us.”

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