Kenny Jackett leaning towards Sean Raggett to fill Portsmouth void left by Matt Clarke
Sean Raggett has been earmarked as Matt Clarke’s left-sided replacement in the centre of Pompey’s defence.
Although the Norwich loanee is naturally right-footed.
The Blues face UCD on Wednesday (5pm) in their opening friendly of pre-season.
The League of Ireland side are bottom of the Premier Division, with club’s midway through their 2019 campaign.
Yet they represent the first test for Kenny Jackett’s team in the post-Clarke era, following the defender’s sale to Brighton.
Raggett, Paul Downing, Christian Burgess and Matt Casey are Pompey’s centre-halves for the trip to Dublin.
Each is likely to be handed 45 minutes against UCD as Jackett utilises his 23-man squad.
And, long-term, Raggett has already been pencilled in for the left-sided centre-back role previously occupied by Clarke.
Jackett said: ‘Raggett is right-footed, but has always played left-sided in his career.
‘The left-sided player in a back four is generally where he has played. So we’re looking at that for him.
‘Looking at our three senior central defenders, maybe Raggett is slightly different in terms of his first header, and is a little bit bigger.
‘Although Burgess and Downing are big enough, maybe Raggett is the one used to playing on the left side the most.
‘Similarly, Burgess and Downing are both capable of playing left-sided if needed.
‘I think it’s a good mix of the three. They are a good age, have good experience and are good enough to be able to do well for us this year.’
Raggett’s last competitive appearance was in January 2019, during an injury-hampered loan spell at Rotherham.
He started six Championship games for the Millers last term, yet the arrangement was cut short in February following a repeated ankle injury.
However, he has been an ever-present during Pompey’s pre-season training programme.
And now Blues followers have the opportunity of a first glimpse of his talents against UCD - in a left-sided role.