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Fixture News

Cowley Targets Winning Mentality

Boss discusses approach to Papa John's Trophy test at Crawley

30 August 2022

Danny Cowley
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images

Most fans would agree that success in League One is number one priority for Pompey this season.

For Danny Cowley, however, that does not mean his side can afford to drop their levels when competing in other competitions.

They begin their Papa John’s Trophy campaign this evening with a trip to Crawley in Southern Group B.

It will be a more youthful side that takes to the pitch in Sussex, but Cowley wants to see plenty of intensity.

The Blues boss said: “We’ll give an opportunity to some of our young ones and I think four of our scholars will be involved in the matchday squad.

“That’s great for them and will be another important step in their development, so it’s a useful exercise.

“I like these games – and the cup competitions in general – because they tell you a lot about the mentality of your group.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s the World Cup final or playing tiddlywinks with your three-year-old at home, the aim is always to win and have an intensity in our performance.

"I like these games – and the cup competitions in general – because they tell you a lot about the mentality of your group."

Danny Cowley

“You want to create a winning mentality and that’s not something you can just turn on and off. It has to be relentless.”

Crawley are still searching for their first win in League Two this term, but stunned top-flight Fulham last week to reach the third round of the Carabao Cup.

Cowley said: “They’re a team we know well because we shared a hotel with them when we were out in Spain during pre-season.

“I’ve watched their win over Fulham back and they were excellent against a strong Premier League side.

“Kevin Betsy went there from Arsenal and so they’ll be very possession based and will try to dominate.

“They also like to be aggressive against the ball and we know it will be tough, but we want to get a positive result.”

Full-back Zak Swanson could feature for Pompey after limping off at Newport last week with a shin injury.

Cowley said: “It would be great to get some more minutes into him and there are a couple of others coming back who need some time on the pitch.

“Jayden Reid is also on the grass and training again, although we’ll naturally be a bit more cautious with him.”

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