What Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley said about on-loan Coventry striker Tyler Walker which sparked an automatic barrage of critical predictions

And he backed up the claim by insisting, “All I can do is tell you what I think.”

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Yet none of those starts, or a substitute appearance, led to him finding the back of the net, raising concerns among the Fratton faithful.

The 25-year-old nearly broke his duck in Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Fleetwood.

He had an effort ruled out for offside, while another was somehow cleared off the line by ground cod army keeper Alex Cairns as the Blues chased the visitors after taking 3- 1 behind.

Pompey striker Tyler Walker is denied by Fleetwood goalkeeper Alex Cairns. Photo: Barry Zee

On any other day, the striker could easily have been the Pompey hero everyone hopes he can be.

But on this occasion, he extended his goalless spell for the Blues to 533 minutes and 17 games in all competitions for Pompey and Coventry.

And as questions were again raised over his contribution after another blank, Cowley hit back by insisting the striker is improving and will be a player to make a difference as the Fratton Park side continue to have aspirations for dams.

Asked about the changes he made up front for the Fleetwood game, the manager said: “We just have such thick and fast games coming up.”

“With such a small group, Ligue 1 football – especially after two away trips, even though we only played one game – takes a lot of players physically and you have to freshen up the front of the pitch. if we want to play the way we play and play with the energy and intensity with which we want to play.

“Actually with Tyler, I think it was his best game for us.

“I will probably be criticized for saying this, but all I can do is tell you what I think.

“He was unlucky not to score and we feel that is coming for him.

“It’s a real advantage for us, because it will help us a lot.”

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