KENNY JACKETT is hunting for defensive recruits in the January transfer window.
The Pompey boss feels he’s short of bodies at the back, as he considers his options.
The Blues currently have seven specialist defenders to call on in their senior ranks.
Of those, Jack Whatmough is battling to recover from a knee injury, with Drew Talbot (groin) and Damien McCrory (knee) also sidelined.
Jackett said: ‘We haven’t got many natural defenders – or even many natural defensive-midfield players.
‘We will need to address that and balance it up in January.
‘We’ve seen the likes of Oli Hawkins play in defence and Dion Donohue.
‘Dion’s had some good games as a midfielder playing left-back from when Haunstrup played early on
‘We’ve lost one or two options as well.
‘But rather than putting someone like Gareth Evans – who is an attacking player – back there, I’d rather talk about working with a set of defenders behind the ones we have, giving them cover and competition.
‘You want people pushing them if we don’t keep enough clean sheets.
‘That goes for the midfielder area as well, where I feel we need to be defensively better.’
Jackett can call on versatile players such as Donohue and Evans for defensive cover, but his preference is to have players who know one role.
The manager added: ‘You do need variable players because they do help with injuries and suspensions.
‘Really, though, specialist players, specialist full-backs and specialist centre-halves are ideal.
‘Working methodically to where you want to be, you do want players who are specialists in their positions.’
– JORDAN CROSS