New boy pinpoints aspect of Portsmouth's game which gives cause for optimism amid weak start

Callum Johnson believes signs of defensive solidity have shone through a disappointing start to the season.

And the Blues’ new arrival feels there is the potential for Pompey to build a resolute back line moving forward through the campaign.

Johnson saw the first goals shipped past his defence against Wigan last Saturday, after keeping three clean sheets in his appearances to date since arriving from Accrngton.

The 23-year-old was frustrated by the manner of particularly how the first goal was conceded against the Latics, before Tom James scored a stunning second-half free-kick.

But the right-back is keeping that moment in context with generally positive displays at the back, since he’s been in Kenny Jackett’s side.

Johnson thanked Jack Whatmough, arguably Pompey’s standout performer so far this term, for helping him settle into a new back four.

And the former Middlesbrough trainee sees plenty to be optimistic about when it comes to the defensive side of his team’s game moving forward.

He said: ‘The goals were really disappointing to concede on Saturday.

Pompey's defensive players have been backed to form a cohesive unit.

‘I hadn’t conceded here before Saturday, so that was really disappointing.

‘But I feel we’ve been solid at the back, so hopefully we can improve at the back and not concede many goals.

‘I spoke to a few of the lads about it. People like Jack alongside me, who’s helped me a lot, I’m starting to build those relationships.

’It’s not going to click straight away, but it will come, and we will build those partnerships.

‘That will only get better with games.’

Johnson is also working on developing his understanding with Marcus Harness, down the right of Kenny Jackett’s preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

He feels there’s a basis of a good partnership with the man who arrived from Burton Albion last year, and provided a steady flow of goals and assists.

With Johnson himself showcasing a willingness to go forward, he’s hopeful about the goal threat the pair can produce.

He added: ‘Marcus is a real good player in front of me.‘Going forward we’re capable of achieving things together and scoring as well.’

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