Paul Downing admits he wants to settle down with regular Portsmouth centre-back partner
Paul Downing admits he wants to settle down with a regular centre-back partner sooner rather than later.
But the former Doncaster man feels Pompey’s defence have already built up a sound rapport in the early stages of the campaign.
Downing moved to Fratton Park on a free transfer from Blackburn this summer.
He’s been first choice centre-half since arriving, having started every pre-season friendly and featured from the outset against Shrewsbury and Birmingham.
However, Downing's operated alongside three players in the heart of the rearguard during his time on the south coast in Christian Burgess, Sean Raggett and Tom Naylor.
An elbow injury sustained by Raggett saw Burgess win the race to start in the opening two competitive games of the campaign.
The Norwich loanee made his comeback in the final five minutes of the 3-0 Carabao Cup victory over Birmingham on Tuesday, however.
And while Downing's pleased with Pompey’s rearguard performances so far, he ideally wants a mainstay companion next to him.
He said: ‘I think I feel comfortable playing alongside anyone.
‘Obviously, I’d like to get a definite partner now moving forward and Burge has done really well since coming in.
‘There’s competition all over the pitch, especially at centre-back, and we’re all pushing each other.
‘There are players that can step in and you’re going to need to be playing well.
‘I had a good pre-season and played a lot of football.
‘I feel match fit and I feel settled into the football club. I just want to keep doing my job and help the team perform to get wins.
‘Everyone needed minutes in pre-season but I’m sure the team will settle down and new signings will bed in.’