RICKY Holmes believes his friendship with Joe Devera is underpinning Pompey’s left-sided solidity.
And Holmes feels their partnership out wide can continue to blossom for the Blues in the weeks ahead.
Devera has been moved to left-back in recent games from his preferred central-defensive position.
That means the versatile talent has been used all the way across the back four since arriving from Swindon in the summer on a free transfer.
Despite being naturally right-footed, Devera has consistently delivered for Guy Whittingham’s side in his latest role – continuing the form he set at the start of the season.
He has linked up with Holmes in three of the past four matches, as Pompey have extended their unbeaten run to six games.
And the attacking talent has enjoyed operating with Devera behind him on the left flank.
The pair’s friendship stretches back to their time together at Barnet.
They now share a home together in Southsea.
Holmes feels being pals has helped strengthen their understanding on the pitch for Pompey.
He said: ‘Joe’s not a natural left-footer, but he’s comfortable playing anywhere across the back four.
‘We live together and we’ve got a good bond.
‘I like playing with him on the left because he talks.
‘He’s always in the right position defensively.
‘I think he likes me being right in front of him because I work hard.
‘I will do my defensive duties, too.
‘Since we’ve played together out there we haven’t lost a game, so that bodes well for us, too.
‘I feel comfortable out there with Joe. He’s been perfect for me.
‘I had Coops (Shaun Cooper) out there with me against Torquay, and that was just as good and he did just as good a job.
‘It’s a squad thing. We have a squad here and we are using it well.’
Pompey’s 3-2 win over Exeter on Saturday means Guy Whittingham’s side sit four points of the play-offs, as the focus switches to the FA Cup today.
The side’s goal threat has been evident this season, with only leaders Fleetwood more potent in the league.
Strikes continue to be shipped at the other end, however, with just three teams conceding more.
That is a concern for Holmes – and something he feels Pompey will not continue to get away with.
Holmes said: ‘We are conceding too many goals.
‘We’ve got to tighten up at the back because we are shipping too many at the moment.
‘Yes, we are scoring a lot, but too many are going in at the other end.
‘Luckily, we are outscoring sides and it’s enough, thankfully, to get us the three points.
‘But that is a dangerous game and you don’t want to be needing to score three goals every week to win games.’