Defender explains how Portsmouth have transformed into play-off contenders with the help of former Rotherham and Sheffield United defenders

Connor Ogilvie has credited Pompey’s formidable defensive record to a settled and balanced backline.

By Sam Cox
Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 4:55 am

Meanwhile, Danny Cowley’s side have also kept the opposition out in seven of their past 11 matches in all competitions.

And that’s despite injury worries at the back which includes captain Clark Robertson, and the Pompey boss having only one recognised centre-back to chose from at times this season.

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Cowley has somehow found a way to manage such upheaval in recent weeks, however.

And that’s prompted stand-in centre-back Ogilvie to heap praise on those who share his defensive responsibilites – Kieron Freemand and Sean Raggett.

In recent weeks, the Pompey head coach has veered away from the back four that had helped spark on-the-pitch improvements, with further injury concerns, suspension and illness playing their part.

This forced him to revert to a back-three system which hadn’t exactly served the club well earlier this campaign.

Connor Ogilvie is congratulated for his goal against Morecambe by defensive team-mate Sean Raggett. Picture: Barry Zee

And Ogilvie admits the bond the new-look back three has formed in that time has been instrumental.

He told The News: ‘Raggs is a powerhouse and wins all the balls in the air, while Kieron has that lovely pass down the line and we have a really nice balance along the backline.

‘For sure (it’s more settled). The balance is there at the moment and we’ve just got to keep working hard in training to keep performing out there on a Saturday.

‘I’ve enjoyed it. Like I’ve said previously, as long as I’m playing and contributing I’m more than happy to do it.

‘They are new relationships in defence and we’ve just built on it and built on it.

‘Having a bit of continuity and support from the team has helped. It’s coming together nicely.’

Pompey are now within touching distance of the top six after a run of nine league games unbeaten.

The Blues' latest three points arrived on Saturday thanks to a 2-0 win against Morecambe – a victory which saw another clean sheet recorded and Ogilvie scoring his first goal for the club.

The gap to the play-off positions is now just one point.

And the former Spurs and Gillingham ace man believes the only way is up for Cowley’s side.

Ogilvie added: ‘We had to stay together and be resolute (amid the mounting injuries and sickness bug period).

‘There were a lot of new relationships in there as it’s a new team, so it was about coming together.

‘We need to rest and recuperate and try to get some bodies back as there's been a lot of illness and injuries.

‘We need to keep working hard and things will keep moving up.’

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