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‘Pretty alarming’ – Is Accrington Stanley v Portsmouth win or bust for Danny Cowley? The verdict

Football League World logo Football League World 22/10/2021 Marcus Ally
a man looking at the camera: danny cowley © Provided by Football League World danny cowley

This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

Portsmouth have been on the receiving end of 4-1 and 4-0 tonkings in the last week and Danny Cowley’s methods at the top have come into question as a result.

Pompey demonstrated what they are capable of in a 4-0 victory over Sunderland before the international break but the results and performances that have followed suggest that that was only a flash in the pan.

Portsmouth have a quality squad for at League One level and were desperately disappointed to miss out on the play-offs on the final day of last season. Cowley has come in with some refreshing ideas after the turgid style of Kenny Jackett, but it is a results business after all and the current form will cause pressure from the stands.

Pompey travel to Accrington Stanley on Saturday where a win could push them back into the top half of the table but a loss could see them looking over their shoulders at risk of being dragged into the relegation conversation. Stanley’s spirits are up from an epic 3-2 victory at Charlton Athletic in midweek and John Coleman will be intent on capitalising on the momentum they built in South London.

Here, we have gathered the thoughts of a selection of FLW writers to see whether they believe Saturday’s encounter is win or bust for Danny Cowley…

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George Dagless

I don’t think so.

They need results and quickly but I think Cowley has a little more time than his some of his contemporaries and he’s not in a place like Nigel Adkins was where Charlton really needed to beat Accrington earlier this week for him to save his job.

I think Cowley knows the pressure is on and results are needed but Portsmouth wanted to make this change after they’d got tired of Kenny Jackett so I think they need to keep with him in this dip and give him a chance to try and turn it around.

Results are the only way to appease the fans, though, and so he does need to get some wins on the board in the very near future – I don’t think he’ll be gone after a potential loss this weekend though.

Alfie Burns

It’s getting towards the point where Cowley is going to need something quite drastic to get everyone pulling back in the same direction.

Firstly, a club like Portsmouth shouldn’t be where they are in the League One table. 17th isn’t good enough when they have ambitions of challenging for a place in the Championship.

Nigel Adkins has just lost his job at Charlton in similar circumstances. So, it’s safe to assume that Cowley won’t be far behind him unless something changes.

I’m not entirely convinced that this weekend is ‘win or bust’. Cowley might get a touch more time. However, he needs something to change quite drastically and that could do with starting this weekend.

Ben Wignall

I’m not so sure if it’s a case of ‘win or bust’ just yet for Cowley, but from what we’ve seen happen to Nigel Adkins this week then it’s certainly a slight possibility.

Of course Charlton right now are in a much worse position than Pompey but two heavy defeats – albeit to teams you expect to be up there at the top end of League One in May – were pretty alarming.

Cowley wasn’t given much in the way of transfer funds to work with over the summer and lost some key players, so you could say he’s been dealt a tough hand although he’s got his hands on some experienced men who have performed well in the Championship over the years.

A loss to Accrington would increase the pressure ten-fold and send the club closer to the relegation zone but I think Cowley would deserve a few more games to turn things round – perhaps until the next international break.

It was a coup to bring Cowley in in the first place but there may be a tough decision around the corner for Michael Eisner and co but I don’t think it needs to happen just yet.



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