Cowley: 'Sometimes you have to fight your way into games' + Video highlights of Pompey v Town
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Danny Cowley once again got the better of Ipswich Town as his first game in charge of Portsmouth began with a win.
The Blues have history with Cowley, with the new Pompey boss and brother/assistant Nicky humbling Mick McCarthy’s side in the FA Cup in January 2017, knocking Town out in front of the nation on BBC television.
The brothers were interested in the Ipswich job, when it became clear Paul Lambert was heading to the exit, with the Blues understood to have carried out preliminary background work on the pair without making an approach, prior to Paul Cook’s appointment.
And the pair had interest from other clubs as well, but bided their time to take a job they clearly feel is the right fit for them. The brothers only had one training session to work with their new side - but it was good enough to down Town.
Danny Cowley told the Portsmouth FC website after the 2-1 win: “It’s a good start and an important win, but credit has to go to the staff and the players.
“We have to recognise the week they’ve had after losing the Papa John’s Trophy final at Wembley after extra-time.
“Then their manager – who the dressing room thought a lot of – has lost his job, followed by having to quickly go to Peterborough in the league.
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“That takes a lot out of you, both physically and emotionally, but the commitment and the character were excellent.
“It was never going to be perfect, although I thought we were 10-out-of-10 in terms of our mindset and attitude.
“Ryan Williams’ work ethic – wow! If you look at his numbers for running this week, it shows incredible determination.
“I tried to light up their eyes on Friday and bring an energy and enthusiasm. There were some clear messages and you could see a real intensity.
“We didn’t play very well in the first half, but showed determination and grit to be able to get through that period. Sometimes you have to fight your way into games.
“There were some tactical tweaks after the break and we had better control, with more rhythm, although there’s still plenty to work on.”
The international break means that Pompey now have a rare midweek without a game, which Cowley has welcomed.
He said: “It’s great timing for us because it allows to take stock and look for areas where we think we can add.
“We can start to get some of the principles and concepts together. The most exciting part for me is that I can see loads of things I can help the players with.
“I wish I had a magic wand, but Nicky and I will work hard on the training ground to ensure it becomes like a choregraphed dance.”
On paper, Pompey have a kind run-in of fixtures - not dissimilar to Ipswich. Pompey travel to Shrewsbury next Saturday, before entertaining Rochdale Good Friday.