The Bucks chief insists he is not picking the team for the FA Trophy semi-final first leg at Brisbane Road based on reputations.
He is doing so based on who shows the most endeavour on the back of last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to FC United of Manchester, with the squad gathering for what is set to be an intense session tonight.
“I’m a big believer in how people train, and how they’re playing here and now, not reputations or what they’ve done over the course of the season,” said Cowan.
“I want them to be on it. It might be people’s physical fitness, it might be their mindset, it might be that things just aren’t working for them at that moment in time.
“It gives me food for thought (last weekend’s result), certainly.
“But even if we win 5-0 and my striker scores a hat-trick, but then isn’t at it in training, another striker will come in.
“You have to train as you play, otherwise you don’t play. “The lads need to understand, and they do, that I’m a very big believer in training the way you play.”
Goalkeeper Josef Bursik and striker Marcus Dinanga are cup-tied. Midfielder Henry Cowans is out with a knee injury and shot-stopper Andy Wycherley is 50/50 with an eye injury.
But Cowan, at least, had no players pick up injuries in the loss to United.
“I was very vocal to all the lads in the last 10 minutes about not making any silly challenges, not jumping into anything and getting sent off,” he added.