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Fixture News

Cowley: Feeling Fresh & Pack Professionalism

Boss looks ahead to Port Vale test

26 August 2022

Danny Cowley
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images

Danny Cowley is looking for a fresh Pompey side to return to winning ways at Port Vale this weekend.

He made eight changes for the midweek Carabao Cup trip to Newport, with a host of missed opportunities resulting in a 3-2 defeat.

Their next opponents exited that competition in round one, however, and have had a full week to prepare for Saturday’s contest.

The Valiants’ squad includes Ellis Harrison, who has netted twice in three games since joining them from Fleetwood earlier this month.

And Cowley knows his side will have to keep an eye on the former Fratton striker, as he targets a continuation of Pompey’s fine league form.

The Blues boss said: “Frustration is the right word for Tuesday night because we should really have been out of sight by half-time and were masters of our own downfall.

“But we made changes because we were respectful of the fact that Port Vale had a free week. We wanted to make sure we’re physically and mentally fresh enough.

“We know that Ellis will be a challenge and has made a good start to his time there, scoring a couple of goals.

“He can be a real handful on his day – we saw that when he came back to Fratton Park with Fleetwood last season.

“But they’ve got a lot of good attacking options and are a real threat from wide areas, so it will be tough.

"We made changes because we were respectful of the fact that Port Vale had a free week. We wanted to make sure we’re physically and mentally fresh enough."

Danny Cowley

“Port Vale were promoted last season and will still carry momentum from that. They won’t struggle with the squad they have.

“We know we have to be at our best on what’s a really big pitch and that has played a part in our preparations.”

Summer signing Marlon Pack will be hoping to make his 500th career league appearance at Vale Park.

Cowley said: “It says everything about his professionalism and the way he looks after himself. On Monday morning, him and Michael Morrison were first in the gym.

“When you look after yourself in that way and make those sacrifices, then you’re able to play really consistently.

“It’s a brilliant achievement for Marlon and he’s an excellent role model for the younger players at the club.”

Louis Thompson is preparing to go into surgery after suffering a broken leg recently, but it is hoped the midfielder could be back in contention by the turn of the year.

Cowley said: He’ll have an operation and we send him our love. He was in on Thursday and it was great for the boys to spend some time with him.

“The surgeon will look at the ankle joint and plate the fibula. I’m led to believe it’s pretty straightforward and we’re probably looking at around four months for him.

“It was great to see Clark Robertson back on Tuesday, while we’re hopeful that the whack Zak Swanson took on his shin isn’t too bad.

“Denver Hume and Joe Morrell have had another week of training in their legs as well, which is a big positive.”

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