Portsmouth manager went out of his way in this morning’s press conference to reassure worried fans over the club’s transfer business this summer.
With Ryan Williams, Ben Close and Jack Whatmough all leaving the club for free this summer – and goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray attracting major interest from League One rivals Ipswich Town ahead of his own contract expiring – Portsmouth have only made one signing.
18-year-old Liam Vincent signed from non-league side Bromley for an undisclosed fee last week, although it’s unclear at this stage whether he will be firmly involved with first team next season, and whether he will be able to make the step up.
This has left Pompey fans on the edge of their seats going into the next few weeks and months – but manager Cowley is less worried.
Speaking to the press this morning about their recruitment strategy, the Portsmouth boss stated: “We know this is a proud city, a working class city with a lot of grit and determination. To sign players which those qualities is really important.
“We have a very detailed way of working that requires a lot of effort. We want to make sure we don’t miss any player that could potentially make Portsmouth Football Club better. There’s a wide range of players available to us and we need to find the best fit.”
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This comes after there were whispers over the Hampshire side potentially missing out on former Swindon Town attacking midfielder Scott Twine, who joined MK Dons on a free transfer earlier this week.
However, there is some good news for supporters. According to the Daily Mail, Portsmouth are one of the sides interested in promising England youth international goalkeeper Josh Griffiths, who could be a replacement for the out-of-contract MacGillivray. This would only be a loan deal for the 19-year-old West Brom shot stopper.
In the press conference, Cowley went on to say: “You can’t be angry in June when you live in Portsmouth and the summer months are ahead of you! I would say enjoy the sunshine, support England in the Euros, keep a keen eye on Pompey and know that we’re working incredibly hard behind the scenes.”
If Portsmouth’s transfer business can match their manager’s optimism, they could be in for a promising summer.
With the potential departure of Craig MacGillivray and the players who have already gone, it’s no wonder Portsmouth fans are on edge about their summer dealings.
The League One side struggled at times in the second half of last season and after losing out on the playoffs on the last day, they will be desperate to secure a top six finish and promotion next time around. By the time next season ends, it will be ten years since the side were last in the Championship.
Even with a smaller budget, Danny Cowley is still likely to do reasonably well in the next campaign. But how well he does remains to be seen – and for a side that were in the Premier League for a number of years before their financial struggles – they will be desperate to go all the way.
Can they do it with their current budget? Judging by some of the Twitter reaction to the press conference, their fans aren’t overwhelmingly optimistic. But their decision making in the recruitment department will be key. Get that right – and they have every chance of going further in 2021/22.