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In opposition: Portsmouth - what the manager's said

20 August 2021

Similar to a number of head coaches and managers in Sky Bet League One this season, Danny Cowley is in his first full season in charge of his side.

He was appointed to the role of head coach on March 19 2021 only to be given a long-term contract later in May following a string of successful results. Since taking the helm at Pompey, Cowley has managed the club to nine wins in 16 matches. Prior to his employment at Portsmouth, Cowley enjoyed managerial spells at Concord Rangers, Braintree Town, Lincoln City and Huddersfield Town respectfully. Brother Nicky serves as an assistant coach alongside him at Portsmouth as he has in all his roles.

 

Cowley spoke to the media ahead of Saturday’s game…

 

On what he expects from Rovers:

“They have lots of technical players that are good in tight areas, but we will be prepared if they do change their style.

“They were really unlucky to lose the game against Accrington Stanley. They had a difficult way into the game. Then they kind of changed their system and changed their style. They did better in that formation. They went to a back three, but I would anticipate that Richie [Wellens] would go back to the way he wants to play. Certainly, that is what he has recruited for.”

 

On the injury update for the first-team squad:

“[Clark Robertson and Marcus Harness] were both in for treatment on Wednesday to get the inflammation down. We want that to happen as quickly as possible in order for us to be able to make an assessment on the injuries.

“Neither of them can feel it while they’re walking, which is obviously a positive thing. But it’s too early to say just yet. We don’t anticipate either of them being out for too long, and we’re still hopeful for the weekend.”

 

On his valuation of goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu…

“He made one really top-class save against Shrewsbury. The one save [the header in the second half] was probably the only real save he had to make. That’s a testament to the defending in front of him. But when called upon, that’s what top goalkeepers do, and it was a terrific save down to his left. It allowed us to keep another clean sheet.”

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