Christian Burgess insists keeping hold of Matt Clarke is ‘massive’ for Pompey.
The former Peterborough defender wants his centre-back partner to continue his progress at the Blues and help maintain the club’s momentum.
Clarke is regarded as one of Pompey’s prized assets and has impressed in League One this season.
The former Ipswich talent looks destined to play at a higher level and has already been linked to Premier League clubs West Ham and Brighton & Hove Albion.
In last weekend’s defeat at Rotherham, Burgess and Clarke produced heroics in the face of a bombardment from the home side.
However, the pressure told in added time as the Millers grabbed a 91st-minute winner.
Burgess hailed his central defensive partner, though.
And he believes it is crucial Pompey tie down a deal with Clarke to keep him at the club.
Burgess said: ‘It’s massive for us. He has still got another year after this on his contract and it’s massive to keep him.
‘We’ve got a good group here now who I think slowly the chief executive is tying down, which is good for everyone.
‘You want to see that and us to build something, especially with the likes of Matt and the young players who have a lot ahead of them.
‘I’m sure the staff wouldn’t stand in his way if somebody did come in but we have to focus on ourselves.
‘He’s doing well. It’s important for him to keep getting games and experience.’