‘I feared for Pompey and for Danny Cowley’s job’ – Portsmouth’s chances of automatic promotion under Cowley: The verdict | OneFootball
‘I feared for Pompey and for Danny Cowley’s job’ – Portsmouth’s chances of automatic promotion under Cowley: The verdict
Football League World
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 now picked up 16 points from their last six Championship games, putting an end to an inconsistent couple of months.
Pompey now sit two points and two places from the third-tier play-off positions, with Danny Cowley seemingly finding the winning formula at Fratton Park.
A big chunk of the campaign remains but Cowley will be boosted by what he has seen in the last few weeks, especially when considering that they have a few injuries to contend with.
Quiz: 30 questions about some of Portsmouth’s best strikers from the last 5 years – Can you score 30/30?
Portsmouth have big games against Sheffield Wednesday, Plymouth Argyle and Oxford United before the new year, and will be eager to keep this unbeaten run going.
Here, we take a look at whether Danny Cowley can help guide Portsmouth to automatic promotion this season…
They may be in good form now, but they need one word more than anything right now if they are to sustain their promotion push – and that’s consistency.
We have seen Pompey go on a couple of bad runs under Cowley despite showing good patches of form and this is the reason why they aren’t back in the Championship yet.
Their winless run of four league games in April proved to be detrimental to their play-off hopes in the end. And looking at their results this term, we could be saying the game about a terrible August to October period that left them in the bottom half of the third tier.
Whilst you have to appreciate the amount of quality in the third tier this season, with Pompey possessing their own gems in Marcus Harness and Ronan Curtis, the difference between a Portsmouth and a Rotherham is that the Millers recovered quickly from their early-season setbacks as they lost three of their opening six league games, going unbeaten in League One ever since.
That sort of consistency will be key for the south-coast side, as well as maximising wins and minimising draws like they have been able to do recently.
And how small the gap is between the top of the table and Portsmouth makes them automatic promotion contenders.
They need to earn their right to retain that tag on merit though.
I admit following their September form I feared for Pompey and for Danny Cowley’s job.
However there’s been a sensation turn-around since to leave them in ninth position after 20 games, and with momentum on their side it’s a good place to be in.
The last-gasp win over Gillingham made it four wins on the bounce and seven matches unbeaten and there’s clearly a spirit and togetherness that Cowley has created.
It does help having technically good players as well and with the likes of Ronan Curtis, Marcus Harness and many others they’re never going to be shy of goals.
You have to rank Pompey as at least play-off contenders now and a further push could see them genuinely challenge the top two.
They have to be considered contenders at the very least.
The top two do have games in hand over Pompey but Cowley’s side are only six points back now and have caught fire over the past month or so.
There’s still so much of the season left to go but if the South Coast club can maintain this sort of form for a large part of it then they’re going to be in the mix near the top of the table.
Blackpool showed last season that it’s all about timing in League One and Portsmouth will hope they’ve not peaked too early.
That said, the busy schedule means there are lots of points to be won in the festive period so we could see them rise up the table very quickly.