Portsmouth boss mulls over bolstering left flank as Wigan Athletic's Preston North End target emerges as option

Danny Cowley is weighing up whether to bolster his left-sided options in January after being linked with Wigan’s Tom Pearce.

By Jordan Cross
Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 4:55 am

The Blues boss admitted he doesn’t feel he has a natural left wing-back within his ranks at present.

And that means he has to decide whether remedying that situation is a pressing need now, or can wait until the summer.

The News understands Pearce is a player under consideration as a potential option to boost the left side of the pitch, with Preston also keen.

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The 23-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season, and may well be viewed as a better player to move for when he is a free agent.

That would leave Pompey to continue with Lee Brown, Connor Ogilvie and Reeco Hackett down the flank for the rest of this campaign, with a striker and right-sided central defender the more pressing priorities.

Cowley said: ‘It’s fair to say (he doesn’t have a senior left wing-back at the club).

‘Lee and Connor we see more as left-backs.

Wigan's' Tom Pearce. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

‘We’ve spoken about how well Connor’s done at left centre-back, and that’s another string to his bow.

‘Both are more comfortable in back fours, hence playing Reeco as a left wing-back in more recent times.

‘But you are always looking to prioritise (areas of the pitch to strengthen).

‘We’re clear on the areas of the pitch we want to improve on, in terms of personnel and the type of player we’d like to bring into the building.

‘We want to keep moving towards the game idea and influence the culture in the group.

‘The best way to affect culture is to affect the character of the group by brining in new personnel.

‘If we can do that with two or three players, that will help us in the second part of the season.’

Hackett has been the player who’s been utilised as Pompey’s left wing-back more latterly, since Cowley switched to the 3-4-1-2 formation he’s currently going with.

The 43-year-old praised the Londoner for adapting to the demands of the position, despite naturally being a more attacking player.

Cowley added: ‘Reeco has done well filling in on the left-hand side.

‘We probably see him further up the pitch in the sort of position he came on against Exeter, in the number 10 position.

‘But he’s shown time and time again how versatile he can be.

‘He’s technically a good player and has a very good understanding of the game.

‘As a consequence of being a round player with lots of technical attributes and tactical intelligence, it allows him to flexible in the position he plays on the pitch.’

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