Lee Johnson has this clear warning for Sunderland ahead of 'dangerous' Portsmouth test

Lee Johnson has warned his side that Danny Cowley’s Portsmouth’s side will ‘click’ at some stage, and that they may well relish their status as perceived underdogs.

Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 6:00 am

Portsmouth have made an indifferent start to the League One campaign, currently sitting 13th in the table with 12 points from 10 games.

They have not win since the third day of the season (August 17th), at which point they had nine points from an available nine.

But Johnson says he knows Cowley’s qualities better than anyone, and says the game is a ‘dangerous’ one for his table-topping side.

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Sunderland boss Lee Johnson

“Time is so important for managers, especially at big clubs,” Johnson said.

“You don't get a job when everything is rosy in the garden. It's probably 1 in 100, when someone has moved onto bigger things because there's been a big transfer.

“Danny has gone into a huge club.

“I know him really well and have got a lot of respect for his work, we do talk on quite a regular basis.

“He's a really good recruiter and a really good manager, so I think that Portsmouth have got absolutely the right man there. That will show as time goes on.

“I think like of all us, we've had to cut our cloth and that's not easy, it means you've got to make some difficult decisions. They've lost some good players over the summer but they've also brought some good players in.

“It's about getting it to click, and you look at Ipswich winning 6-0 in midweek, that's a tell-tale sign of them clicking.

“That will happen with Portsmouth.

“It's a really tough game for us, I've always found Fratton Park a really good place to play and manage, and a difficult place,” he added.

“With the fans there, and the potentially perceived position of underdog because of current league positions, it's a dangerous place for us to go.

“We have to be at our best, simple as that.

“We'll expect Portsmouth to be at their best.”

Cowley earlier this week rallied the Portsmouth fanbase for their support, urging his team to ‘spark’ a revival with their performance at Fratton Park.

"It’s a really important game in our season,” he said.

“It’s a big game between two big clubs.

"If you follow the form people will predict an away win, but it’s for us to put a consistent level of performance together,” he added.

“We’ve played really well in parts of games but not the full game, and if you want to get a result against Sunderland you need to play well for the full game – no doubt about that.

“I know the supporters are down on us at the moment, and I totally understand why, but we really need them at the moment.

“The Portsmouth people are underdogs themselves.

“We going to need that spirit and fight, and we are going to have to spark it on the pitch.

“If they can then drive that energy, that will really help us.

‘”We’ve got to put a performance on they can connect with and be proud of.”

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