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Fixture News

Cowley Hails Growing Spirit

Boss looks ahead to Oxford test

28 February 2022

Danny Cowley
Photo: Jason Brown

Danny Cowley is pleased to see a resolute spirit starting to emerge in his Pompey squad.

After slumping to a 3-0 deficit against Fleetwood at the weekend, they battled back to rescue a dramatic draw.

It ensured that the club were able to stretch their unbeaten run in League One to four matches, ahead of further Fratton tests with Oxford and Accrington this week.

And Cowley believes those attributes will serve Pompey well as they aim for a successful end to the season.

The Blues boss said: “We should take some pride and inspiration from the way we fought on Saturday and I was proud of our players and supporters.

“The fans stuck with us in our most difficult moment and I’m just sad we couldn’t get the fourth goal their efforts deserved.

“Relationships only build over the time and we’ve worked hard on forging that togetherness, which is something my best teams have always had.

“They’re really important qualities and you need to be able to win games when things go against you – that’s a sign of a successful side.

“That spirit is growing and it’s something we work on in training because you need to develop that resilience. It’s been good to see that happening.”

"Relationships only build over the time and we’ve worked hard on forging that togetherness, which is something my best teams have always had."

Danny Cowley

Pompey are facing Oxford for the second time in a little over two weeks, with a harsh red card and two late goals condemning them to defeat at the Kassam Stadium.

Cowley said: “They’re one of the best teams in our division and we have a lot of respect for the way they play.

“Oxford are an open, expansive side and look to dominate the ball, while they carry a real threat in the transition.

“It will be a really tough game, but we felt the pain when we last played them. We’ve made sure to keep that close and hope it can fuel us on Tuesday.

“The fixtures are coming thick and fast at the moment and we have to try to pick the right team for the right opponent.

“We have collected a few bumps and bruises, but we’ll try to pick the best team that’s available to us.”

Pompey will have to do without Ronan Curtis, who starts a two-match ban after receiving his 10th league booking of the season against Fleetwood.

Cowley said: “He was hard done by, but some of those previous nine yellow card were definitely avoidable.

“Ronan does wear his heart on his sleeve and is a passionate boy – those are the qualities we love about him.

“Emotional control is definitely something he can work on, but he had a huge impact in the second half on Saturday.

“It's certainly never dull with Ronan is it! I think the supporters really enjoyed his performance against Fleetwood.”

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