Connect with us

English Football League

Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley hits out at the EFL as he makes urgent request

Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley hits out at the EFL as he makes an urgent request over the fixture schedule they face for April.

The 43 year old head coach admitted he has been disappointed with the English Football League due to being handed a hectic end to their League One season.

They have eight games in just 25 days to end the campaign after their games with Bolton Wanderers and Rotherham United had to be rearranged this week.

The run begins in just over a fortnight’s time when the Blues travel to Bolton on Tuesday the 5th of April, but that is more than two weeks after their previous fixture which is on Saturday at home to Wycombe Wanderers.

His side currently sit 10th in the third tier, picked up 58 points from 37 games and and 7 points behind Sunderland who occupy the last playoff place.

Cowley said: “It’s a crazy schedule because after Saturday (v Wycombe), we don’t play two and half weeks so it’s not ideal. I’ve been disappointed with the EFL and the scheduling because I thought it could have been fairer than what it is.

“But these are the cards we’ve been dealt and we have to try and overcome it. Talks are ongoing [with the EFL] about it. We have to think about players’ safety and welfare. Spreading the games out evenly would be helpful for us.”

Cowley goes on to admit that he has no issue with his side playing three games in a week but when the turnaround between matches is shorter than that or if the squad have to travel much more, it can give opponents an advantage.

Portsmouth have had three successive away days at Crewe Alexandra, Ipswich Town, and Plymouth Argyle, which only saw Pompey pick up four points from a possible nine.

“We think it (a more balanced fixture list) could be achieved but we understand it has to be right for all parties. We just want to perform at our best,” added Cowley.

“We have no problem playing three games in a week, but when you ask players to play three games in six days or three successive away games…all these are pretty challenging. Scheduling should create a level playing field so it’s a balanced and fair competition.”


Sat 19 Mar – H – Wycombe Wanderers – 3pm
Tue 5 Apr – A – Bolton Wanderers – 8pm
Sat 9 Apr – A – Cheltenham Town – 3pm
Tue 12 Apr – H – Rotherham United – 7.45pm
Fri 15 Apr – H – Lincoln City – 3pm
Mon 18 Apr – A – Morecambe – 3pm
Sat 23 Apr – H – Gillingham – 3pm
Tue 26 Apr – H – Wigan Athletic – 7.45pm
Sat 30 Apr – A – Sheffield Wednesday – 12.30pm

Cowley spoke to the media via Zoom on Thursday afternoon ahead of his side’s clash with Wycombe in League One on Saturday.

On bouncing back after Plymouth: “We always try and learn from every game. We were very disappointed with the outcome. We probably lost the game in the key moments.

“We lacked the quality and execution in the final action and had a key decision to against us. We put our energy into the things we can control – definitely the goal we conceded – and being more clinical in the final third.

“A lot of stuff in between was actually very good and that’s where we have to stay professional, take the emotion out, analyse it and take clarity from it.

“We’re a team getting better by the day, we’re sure of that. Good teams, when they have disappointment, always respond and that’s what we’ll be looking to do.”

On the challenge posed by Wycombe: “They are a team that was put together in the Championship so their players have experience of the level above. They have pace, power, athleticism and ask a lot of questions about you physically.

“They’re mixing their game up a bit more now with Josh Scowen and Lewis Wing playing in the midfield, and that gives them a good balance. I’ve got a lot of respect for Gareth Ainsworth and Wycombe, it’s a game we know we’ll have to be at our very best if we want to get on the right side of it.

“We’re looking forward to being back at Fratton Park, it’s been a long two weeks since the Accrington game. We’ve had three tough away games so it’ll be nice to see some familiar faces and it’s a connection we feel is building. We’ve scored a lot of goals at Fratton Park recently.”

On having zero shots on target in midweek: “Statistics are statistics. The other stats were that our expected goals was higher, our touches in the box was higher, our balls into the box was higher and our possession was higher than theirs so normally when you get those four, you win.

“A lot of stats were in our favour but we didn’t win because we got into some good positions but didn’t execute.”

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in English Football League