'I actually think his best position is left of a back three': Danny Cowley eyes introducing fresh blood into Portsmouth defence at Burton

Danny Cowley is convinced Connor Ogilvie’s best position is in a back three.

By Neil Allen
Monday, 27th September 2021, 3:12 pm
Updated Monday, 27th September 2021, 3:18 pm

And he insists the former Gillingham man is in Pompey’s first-team frame for Burton tomorrow (7.45pm).

Ogilvie has missed the Blues’ last three matches after suffering a calf problem in the Hampshire Senior Cup against Basingstoke.

During his absence, Cowley has opted to field a back three in successive 2-2 draws against Plymouth and Charlton.

Although the system switch has ignited Pompey’s attacking potential, they have looked vulnerable in defence, particularly on the counter.

Shaun Williams has served on the left of the back three, alongside Sean Raggett and Kieron Freeman.

But the Blues’ head coach considers the fit-again Ogilvie as the ideal candidate for the role.

Cowley told The News: ‘Ogilvie is now back in training and we are hopeful he can play against Burton.

Connor Ogilvie, pictured getting in a block on Doncaster's Kyle Knoyle, is seen by Danny Cowley as being an ideal candidate for his Pompey back three. Picture: Howard Roe/AHPIX LTD

‘That is a massive, massive boost, another central-defensive option will help.

Connor has played a lot of his career at centre-half and I actually think his best position is left of a back three, that's what I see.

‘We signed him because we thought he could do that for us.’

Ogilvie has made five appearances since arriving on a free transfer from Gillingham at the start of last month.

Handed a two-year deal, the 25-year-old was earmarked as left-back competition for Lee Brown.

However, his versatility also extends to the centre of defence, where he featured on many occasions during his four seasons at the Priestfield Stadium.

Certainly there may be questions over whether he is suited as a left wing-back, yet there appears a more natural fit in a back three.

As a left-footer Williams has dropped from midfield into the back line during the past two matches.

The veteran Irishman has experience of operating at centre-half from his time at MK Dons before his January 2014 switch to Millwall.

Yet Ogilvie is pencilled in for the position in the long-term, should Cowley elect to retain the formation which has so far offered plenty of encouragement.

Meanwhile, fellow centre-half Clark Robertson remains sidelined with the quad problem which has forced him out for the last three matches.

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