Guy: One more central defender and we’re done

Guy Whittingham is keen to use Adam Wedbster as a centre-back
Guy Whittingham is keen to use Adam Wedbster as a centre-back
Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey midfielder will relish facing former club

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Guy Whittingham is targeting one more player to make his central-defensive options complete.

Defender Sonny Bradley arrived at Fratton Park on Thursday, alongside Danny East and Romain Padovani, as the first new faces in Pompey’s revamped squad.

A towering left-footed centre-half, Bradley has been earmarked as a regular member of Whittingham’s back four in League Two.

The Blues manager is also keen to employ Adam Webster primarily as a central defender next season rather than at full-back.

That leaves just one final space in the first-team squad that will include three centre-halves.

Ricardo Rocha and Sam Sodje – who competed with the now departed Gabor Gyepes for a central-defensive berth this season – have both held talks about returning, while Wycombe’s Dave Winfield has also emerged as a target.

Regardless, Whittingham’s defensive hunt continues.

He said: ‘We need powerful centre-halves.

‘I think it’s imperative you have that in this league because, as everybody knows, there’s a lot of defending to be done in your 18-yard box from set-plays and balls being played in.

‘There’s a lot of juggling going on at the moment in terms of options but, ideally, I would like to start the season with three centre-halves.

‘That includes Adam Webster.

‘Sonny had a full season with Aldershot last year, is very experienced at that level, and somebody who you need in this league that can defend the box.

‘He’s not bad on the ball, he’s got a decent left foot, which most left-sided centre-halves do, so it’s not just about his defending.

‘Although, primarily with that league, we know there are a lot of balls that come into the box so that’s why you need big players at the back.

‘It’s important that we’ve got players – as we’ve had with Gabor and Ricardo – that can play as well a little bit and find the front man’s feet.

‘We probably still need another one. Somebody who can play different positions maybe and might be able to play anywhere along the back four.

‘Sonny, Adam and whoever comes in will be competing for places because it’s important that you have competition for places. But I think one more is needed.’

Bradley made 48 appearances on loan for Aldershot this season before being released by parent club Hull.

He arrived at the Blues last week along with East and French midfielder Padovani. And Whittingham is delighted with the capture of the 21-year-old.

He added: ‘Sonny is at an age where he wants to come to prove he is good enough. I think Portsmouth is a good platform to do that.

‘His League Two experience is vital. At 21 he has 62 games under his belt at that level so that is important.’