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Fixture News

Cowley: Excellent Response To Poor Start

Boss reflects on dramatic Fleetwood draw

26 February 2022

Danny Cowley
Photo: Jason Brown

Danny Cowley was pleased with the character and fight shown by his side in the second half against Fleetwood.

But he was unhappy that Pompey required such a dramatic fightback after shooting themselves in the foot before the break.

Anthony Pilkington, Harrison Biggins and Paddy Lane struck to stun the hosts and almost everyone inside Fratton Park.

Ronan Curtis’ penalty provided a lifeline late in the first half and Marcus Harness also struck before Aiden O’Brien grabbed a stoppage-time leveller.

It was a moment of high drama and the least Pompey deserved, but Cowley knows his troops cannot afford to start so slowly.

The Blues boss said: “The opening goal came from their first foray into the box and we didn’t defend the 1v1 well enough.

“Then we lost the ball from a throw on for a second and for the third there was an opportunity for us to win it high up the pitch.

“Lane is really good on his left foot and the players have seen a million clips of that, but we’ve let him come inside and shoot from distance.

"We’d given ourselves a mountain to climb, so credit should go to the players for the way we fought back."

Danny Cowley

“All of a sudden we’re 3-0 down and there’s always a collective responsibility for us. We’re disappointed with our performance against the ball because we were too soft.

“But I thought our response was excellent and in the second half we saw what I want our Pompey team to be.

“There was character under intense pressure, while we showed energy, purpose, grit and also a lot of quality.

“We created some clear-cut chances and could easily have scored more than three goals, while there was emotional control for us.

“The ball was only in play for 19 minutes in the second half and I can’t remember a team who slowed things down as well as Fleetwood.

“I blame ourselves for that because allowed them to play that way with the manner in which was started the game.

“We’d given ourselves a mountain to climb, so credit should go to the players for the way we fought back.

“The fact that the supporters stayed behind afterwards to clap us off is testament to that – they want their players to give everything they’ve got and I think they saw that in the second half.”

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