Portsmouth boss rejects break in friendly claiming players haven’t run enough

Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley rejected the offer of a drinks break during Wednesday night's pre-season clash with Bognor Regis – as he believed the players 'hadn't run about enough'.

The Pompey boss is currently overseeing preparations for the new League One campaign, which is due to kick off next weekend. Portsmouth are one of the biggest clubs in the third tier and are likely to be one of the teams vying for promotion to the Championship over the coming months.

Pompey travelled to Bognor Regis in their latest friendly clash in midweek, but Cowley was left stunned after the referee offered both sides a drinks break after just 30 minutes.

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And a tweet shared by the official Bognor Regis account revealed that Cowley fired back: "They’ve got to get fit — let them run about first!"

The friendly clash between a Pompey XI and Bognor ended 1-1, with Harry Jewitt-White restoring parity for Portsmouth after Nick Dembele had fired the Rocks into a surprise lead. Portsmouth are due to entertain Coventry and Barnet in their final pre-season games before they kick off their League One campaign against Sheffield Wednesday in nine days time.

Cowley will be hoping for a better season after his side missed out on the play-offs last term. The south coast outfit ended up 10 points short of making the top-six under the former Lincoln boss.

Do you think regular drink breaks should become a thing in professional football? Let us know in the comments section.

Since his appointment back in March 2021, Portsmouth have flirted with promotion but have been unable to reclaim their second-tier status.

Pompey were well-placed to make the play-offs shortly after Cowley's arrival at the end of the 2020/21 campaign, but they imploded on the final day of the season, where a shock 1-0 defeat against Accrington Stanley killed their hopes of promotion glory.

Portsmouth are still one of the promotion favourites ahead of the new League One campaign, but they are some way behind the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich and Derby, who are the three current favourites to win the league.


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