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Top six favourites to become new Portsmouth manager as club sacks boss

We take a look at the top six favourites to become new Portsmouth manager as the club sacks boss Danny Cowley after poor form.

Pompey are enduring a run of nine League One games without a win, which now sees them nine points from the playoff places and hopes of going up diminishing for another season.

His brother Nicky Cowley, an assistant, has also been let go, after the duo spent 22 months at Fratton Park, but has failed to get them back to the Championship.

The former Lincoln and Huddersfield coaches came in as successor to Kenny Jackett and led the club to an eighth-placed finish in 2021, but missed out on the playoffs by two points – then guided them to 10th last season.


Portsmouth Football Club have parted company with head coach Danny Cowley and assistant head coach Nicky Cowley.

Chief executive Andrew Cullen said: “We are desperately disappointed that, following our recent run of results, we have today made the difficult decision to part company with Danny and Nicky.

“Both Danny and Nicky have given everything to Pompey, working so hard inside and outside of the training ground with a determination to bring success – not just to the football club, but to the city of Portsmouth and the wider community.

“Danny and Nicky both really understand Portsmouth and they should look back with pride at the progress and innovation they have delivered at the club.

“We will forever be grateful to them for their personal commitment towards reinvigorating the special connection between the football club and our community. We all wish Danny and Nicky success in everything they go on to do.

“We must now look forward and with 24 league games still to play, we will focus all our efforts towards delivering the targets we set for this season. The search for a new coaching team will commence immediately.”

Eric Eisner said: “Tough decision made today by the board. I am very fond of both Danny and Nicky. Very fond. In the end it just didn’t work out. They truly understood the community and fan base. We are still in striking distance of the playoffs and feel like we got the core to get us there. #pup”

Michael Eisner added: “I have immense respect for the Cowleys, their professionalism and dedication, but sometimes there’s a need for immediacy. With that in mind, @Pompey is moving on from the decent & hard-working brothers, and w/ 24 league matches to go, a chance for renewed vitality for promotion.”

Portsmouth fans expressed frustrations known after referee Tom Reeves blew the final whistle to the New Year’s Day clash with Charlton.

Danny Cowley insisted that his side have to accept all the criticism that comes their way following a 3-1 defeat at home.

He said: “We weren’t good enough and are bitterly disappointed – ultimately it’s my responsibility.

“We went into the game with the right intentions, but made some technical errors early on and lost confidence off the back of that.

“Our belief was lacking and as a consequence of that, I thought we also lacked energy and intensity in our play.

“Confidence is a fragile commodity and we suffered as a team. We tried to change it, but to no avail. It was well short of what we expect of ourselves.

“We wanted more impetus after the break, only to lose the ball in our own half and their player runs through.

“We don’t defend well enough and didn’t respond well enough. We just didn’t do well enough from the first minute to the last and all the criticism we get is absolutely fair.

“The fans are angry and disappointed – I understand those emotions. We just have to take it on the chin.

“We have to keep working, analyse and try to identify the areas where we can help the players because that’s what they need right now.

“This is elite sport and we’re in a moment of adversity. Those who live this life know that you have to decide whether you become the victim or the fighter. It’s your choice.”

Speaking to CharltonTV, Dean Holden said: “The supporters needed to see that type of performance. We spoke about that going into the game. I thought from start to finish we were excellent with and without the ball. We had a real strong shape to our lineup. Our performance in the first half was good, we were regaining possession up the pitch. We looked dangerous, we scored some goal through Jes Rak-Sakyi.

“To concede like we did, just before half time, from a second-phase set piece, we have to do better. I said to them at half time that it gave them a lift. I think there was going to be plenty of booing around this place at half time without that goal. In fairness it allowed us to reset as well, because too many times this season we’ve conceded and our heads dropped. We addressed it at half time and then I wanted to see a second-half performance, we’ve seen that in the last couple of games, but I wanted to see a 95-minute performance today.

“The boys came out on the front foot. Scotty Fraser scores a brilliant goal. How his free kick doesn’t go in off the keeper I don’t know. And then game management, we get maybe a little bit lucky at the end but Dobbo arriving from midfield, in front of our supporters – it was a brilliant moment.

“We have to use this now. The players have shown at times this season they can go against the bigger teams and put in good performances but we’ve not shown it enough. This is what we can do – we have to generate that momentum.”



3rd Jan 2023, 9am, BetVictor
Leam Richardson – 1/1
Chris Wilder – 8/1
Liam Manning -12/1
Lee Bowyer – 12/1
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink – 14/1
Dean Smith – 14/1

3rd Jan 2023, 5pm, BetVictor
Leam Richardson – 17/10
Liam Manning – 5/2
Darrell Clarke – 8/1
Chris Wilder – 10/1
Lee Bowyer – 10/1
Darren Ferguson – 16/1

4th Jan 2023, 12pm, BetVictor
Leam Richardson – 2/1
Liam Manning – 5/2
Neil Warnock – 8/1
Darrell Clarke – 8/1
Lee Bowyer – 10/1
Chris Wilder – 10/1

This is what fans said as the top six favourites to become new Portsmouth manager is revealed while the club sacks their boss…

@PompeyPedro: Feel so sad about this one even though it’s the right decision. Seemed like such a good fit but it hasn’t worked. Wish them both nothing but the best.

@Jamesr02_: As people they were some of the best you’ll meet, but sadly wasn’t meant to be with the club. Wish them nothing but the best for their future 💙

@willgershkoff: Made a lot of us fall back in love with the club with passion, but it didn’t work out in the end. Thank you Danny and Nicky 💙

@Lin_Pompey: I am so very sad to read this and I wish Danny and Nicky all the very best for their future, whatever and wherever it may be. I thank them for the work and the dedication they have given to my club. It will be a long time before we find anyone who gets Pompey like they did.

@Frattonegg: The sad but correct decision. Wish them nothing but the best. You’ll note how the fans aren’t jumping for joy about this but are looking at reasons why it’s gone wrong elsewhere.

@Shrewd_Berry: The first 7-10 games this season is the most consistently excited I’ve been watching a Pompey team since maybe 2008. Thank you to both the Cowleys, great blokes with success ahead of them. PUP 💙

@Nio62487226: Feel very sad for Danny, in love with the man… But that’s maybe better like that, even for him. Hope this guy will succeed one day. Good bye Danny and Nicky and thanks for your real commitment 💙

@pompeypirate74: Shame but it wasn’t working. DO think the Board/owners need to take a look at themselves and their crap recruitment policy/loans etc. More of the same and it doesn’t matter who we get in to replace them.

@owenhollandd: Nice blokes, really wanted them to succeed but ultimately was only one way it was going after the past few months. Wish them the best.

@PragmaticFrog: I’m genuinely sad it didn’t work out. One of the most relatable people we’ve had surrounding our club in my lifetime. Gutted it didn’t work out.

@Sasha_PFC: Thank you for the breath of fresh air you brought to us after the jackett era. Absolutely amazing people with great personalities. It’s a shame it didn’t work out but hope you both have an incredible future @dancowley1

@WillDunn_: Absolutely gutted for them both – I truly thought they were on to something special early this season, it felt as if something was really building. To see it spiral out like this is gutting. Wish them the very very best, loved their energy and connection with the fanbase.

@jakemeyers2015: Bittersweet moment. I genuinely couldn’t wait for Jackett to naff off, and was over the moon when he left. With Danny, it’s totally different. Accept that he had to go as the on the pitch stuff was dreadful, but the club have lost a genuinely decent gentleman of football.

@BristolBomber: Almost like @Joey7Barton knows what he’s talking about 🤣🤣🤣

@tomnm2001: Low-key a bit sad about it, loved them as people, feels like a breakup after a series of arguments, knew it was coming and is ultimately for the best…however I fear there are further issues that will restrict becoming the club we hope to be.

@rebzeleanor: The comments on this speak for themselves. When Jackett went we were all over the moon. I really do hope they are a success wherever they end up. 💙

@MattPFC: devastated it didnt work out, we all wanted them to succeed 100% but at the end of the day the results did the talking. cheers for everything danny and nicky xx

@monolocoUK: First manager for ages that actually gets the club. Crying shame it hasn’t worked out. The owners need to come clean and back the future manager in the window, otherwise this is just cyclical. Good luck for the future

@JuddPFC95: Genuinely really gutted for them both, both are lovely, genuine blokes with so much love for the city, community and club it just didn’t work out for them unfortunately. I think I speak on behalf of majority of the fans in saying I wish them all the best and thanks good times.

@ProudieYT: Breaks my heart, but it was for the best 😭

@UpThePompz: They understood the fans, the club and city something the previous managers didn’t do. I am gutted and disappointed however at the end of the day. Football is a result’s game and we don’t win games by being nice.

@southcoast_01: Sad to see but the players should be taking a long hard look at themselves after yesterday’s performance – and most of the last couple of months. It’s a shame some of them can’t be sacked quite so easily. National League standard nicking a living some of that shite

@TomCart59710557: Best decision, terrible manager. All very well him being ‘passionate’ and fist pumping on the sideline if his players had no belief in him or his ideas it was never going to work. Nice guy, just not a manager in the professional game for me. Wish him and his family the best.

@JackPUP_: Really hope they have a good future can’t fault their behaviour just didn’t work out thank you Danny and Nicky for what you did 💙

@PompeyStats: Sad to see them go, but probably the right decision. All the best in whatever is next. Genuinely good human beings, who gave me and a lot of fans hope for where we could be.

@PompskiRees: Sad it had to end this way – two guys who put their heart & soul into the job. Really bought into the club & the city and had time for everyone. Hope they find success elsewhere

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