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Fixture News

Cowley Searching For Centre-Back Solution

Boss looks ahead to Gillingham test

26 November 2021

Danny Cowley
Photo: Daniel Chesterton

Danny Cowley has a considerable problem to ponder ahead of a League One trip to Gillingham this weekend.

Sean Raggett is suspended for the Priestfield contest after collecting his fifth booking of the season in Tuesday night’s win at Lincoln.

And with Paul Downing joining skipper Clark Robertson in the treatment room, it leaves Pompey with no natural senior centre-backs available.

Rather than moan about the situation, however, Cowley is determined to find a way to clear the hurdle.

The Blues boss said: “It’s definitely an area that’s challenging for us and something that we’re just going to have to overcome.

“We’ve been really good at finding solutions – rather than excuses – in recent weeks and now we’ll need to find another one on Saturday.

“Connor Ogilvie is a left-back, but he’s doing an unbelievable imitation of a centre-half lately. He’s been excellent and is a big part of why we’ve done as well as we have.

"It’s definitely an area that’s challenging for us and something that we’re just going to have to overcome."

Danny Cowley

“But this is probably the first time in my managerial career that I’ve gone into a game without any central defenders.

“There are options to play with a back three or four and we’re certainly going to have to be adaptable.

“But as this group have shown, they’re willing to do whatever it takes to help us get on the right side of the result.

“There’s probably not a perfect solution and Sean is a definite loss, although we’ve shown our flexibility and the players have been putting the team before the individual.

“I’m not interested in excuses – I’ve never known one to get you any points. We all know that nobody really cares about them in football.”

Pompey’s opponents sit just above the drop zone and have not won a game in any competition for more than a month.

Cowley said: “I’ve got a lot of respect for Gillingham as a club and you know that any Steve Evans team will be motivated and have a relentless work ethic.

“There will be a real fight about them and we’ll have to combat the directness, while matching their physical qualities.”


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