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Fixture News

Cowley: Tie Comes At The Right Time

Boss looks ahead to Exeter test in Papa John’s Trophy

6 January 2022

Danny Cowley
Photo: Dennis Goodwin

Danny Cowley is looking forward to Pompey finally getting the chance to play their Papa John’s Trophy second round tie.

A trip to Exeter has already been postponed twice – firstly due to the home side having to replay an FA Cup game and then due to a Covid outbreak in both squads.

But one side will finally be able to book their place in the last 16 when the sides do battle at St James Park on Friday evening.

The prize on offer is an away match at Cambridge next Tuesday night, with Rotherham then awaiting in the quarter-finals.

And after a long break over the Christmas period, Cowley is pleased that his troops will get another run out.

The Blues boss said: “It’s a game that’s come at a really good time for us and gives us the opportunity to get more minutes into players’ legs.

“We’ll look for everyone that didn’t play at Cambridge to get some time on the pitch and are searching for the right balance.

"It’s a game that’s come at a really good time for us and gives us the opportunity to get more minutes into players’ legs."

Danny Cowley

“If we can find that and then navigate our way through on Friday, then it gives us another tie on Tuesday.

“They would be two useful preparation games for what is going to be an incredibly intense league schedule.

“But Exeter are a strong team and I had the pleasure of watching them at Forest Green in the league on Tuesday.

“They’ve got plenty of depth in their squad and some really promising young players, with a nice blend.”

Clark Robertson, Ryan Tunnicliffe and Louis Thompson are all in contention to return after time spent on the sidelines.

Cowley said: “They are all back training with us and have now had a good few days into their legs, which is a real positive.

“Clark and Ryan were both long-term injuries, so they do almost feel like new signings for us. It’s great to have the three of them back.

“There are also no fresh injury concerns off the back of Cambridge and no new Covid illnesses to report.”


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