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Fixture News

Cowley: Players Have Stepped Up

Boss hails resilience ahead of Crewe test

8 March 2022

Danny Cowley
Photo: Jason Brown

It would be easy to glance at Pompey’s recent results and assume that everything has been going their way.

But Danny Cowley knows that they have had to overcome a few tough obstacles to close the gap on the top six.

Injuries, suspensions and questionable decisions by officials have all stood in the way of League One points.

So a six-match unbeaten run that includes five victories and 18 goals scored has certainly not come easily.

Now Cowley hopes his side can continue building momentum when they visit struggling Crewe tonight.

The Blues boss said: “We’ve done well in adversity – particularly recently when things have gone against us on and off the pitch.

“I’ve been proud of the resilience and fight the squad have shown and think that everyone has really stepped up.

“We only had 13 senior outfit players available on Saturday and it would be easy for them to make excuses.

“But they haven’t done that. They’ve understood the situation and have found an extra 10 per cent in their performance.

“That’s enabled us to have a really positive run of results and hopefully that’s something we can continue at Crewe.

"We’ve done well in adversity – particularly recently when things have gone against us on and off the pitch."

Danny Cowley

“We’ve had a look at their recent matches and they dominated the second half against Wycombe on Saturday, with a real control and rhythm.

“They deserved to take something from the fixture and we know what their strengths are, as well as the way they like to play.

“Games are coming thick and fast for us and it’s important that we remain humble and focused – they’re the qualities we’re going to need.”

Pompey made the trip to Alexandra Stadium just over two weeks ago, only for the contest to be controversially postponed just over an hour before kick-off.

Cowley said: “I really felt for our supporters who had travelled all that way and endured the stormy weather, only to get there and find the game had been called off.

“It was disappointing and frustrating in equal measure, but we’re hoping a lot of them can find their way back to get behind the boys.”

Pompey will have to do make do without Marcus Harness, who begins a three-match ban following his red card against Accrington.

Cowley: “It’s a huge blow because we all know what he can bring to the team and he’s been a top player for us this season.

“With the numbers we’ve got at the moment, it’s going to hurt us. This is the nature of football, though, and people make mistakes.

“It was really combative against Accrington and you’ll get some bumps and bruises, but we’ll have to pick the freshest team – physically and mentally – to face Crewe.”

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