Danny Cowley has put the signing of another centre-half on his Portsmouth wishlist

Danny Cowley is targeting another centre-half arrival this summer.

By Neil Allen
Thursday, 8th July 2021, 4:30 pm
Clark Robertson has already arrived at Fratton Park, but Danny Cowley wants another centre-half. Picture: Lewis Storey/Getty Images
Clark Robertson has already arrived at Fratton Park, but Danny Cowley wants another centre-half. Picture: Lewis Storey/Getty Images

The Blues boss has so far recruited Clark Robertson who joins Sean Raggett and Paul Downing as defensive options.

However, following the post-season departures of Jack Whatmough and loan expiry of Rasmus Nicolaisen, it still leaves Pompey short on numbers in that area of the pitch.

Cowley admits progress on sealing a deal for his preferred candidate is slower than he would like.

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Nonetheless he is scouring both the transfer and loan markets for a new centre-half.

He told The News: ‘I like 22 players, that’s two for every position. Even if I got a third goalkeeper it would be for one of them to go out on loan to play.

‘I want another central defender and it’s not progressing as quickly as I would like, that’s the truth.

‘I think we’ve got good competition in that area, the three of them are all slightly different.

‘I’m pleased to have Clark in to give us that left-footed balance, Rags is that ball-winning centre-half, and Paul Downing is that intelligent central defender.

‘We’ve got a nice balance there, but I want a fourth. Most teams need four, it’s a pivotal position on the pitch.

‘I’m open minded, I never worry about age, so it could be a young one in there.

‘When I was at Lincoln, Ellis Chapman played the most games of any player under-17 in the country.

‘If you look at my Huddersfield team, I gave a debut to Jaden Brown, while Emile Smith Rowe and Chris Willock were both babies.

‘We took Harry Toffolo to Lincoln as a young boy and then Huddersfield, with Premier League clubs now doing their best to sign him.

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‘Demeaco Dehaney, Josh Koroma, these are young boys who had Championship debuts for us.

‘Age is just a number really. I just think if they are good enough then they are old enough.

‘And at the other end you have Shaun Williams, who is 34 and he has an unbelievable football brain.’

With 17 players presently signed up, Cowley openly admits plenty more recruitment is required.

Although he concedes that a manager is never happy with their squad – even when successful.

Pompey’s head coach added: ‘In football management, you can get your whole group in a really good place yet are always two short.

‘Even Pep Guardiola will be two players short! That’s the best you can get to, it’s the closest you can ever get to utopia – two players short.

‘I remember winning League One at Lincoln in April and were still two short. We had 99 points in the National League and I am still two players short. You always want better, don’t you.

‘You never lie in bed thinking “This is the team, it’s perfect, I don’t need anything else”. I would worry if I ever laid in bed and thought of that.’

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