Danny Cowley sets sights on recruiting left wing-back as Portsmouth player hunt gathers pace

Danny Cowley is targeting a left wing-back as Pompey’s January transfer window gathers pace.

Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 4:00 pm

Now Cowley has set his sights on a permanent arrival to resolve Pompey’s wing-back issue on the left.

Since reintroducing a back three at Lincoln at the end of November, Lee Brown or Reeco Hackett have been employed in the role.

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Yet neither are a natural fit – with Brown essentially a left-back and Hackett a left-footed winger.

The Blues’ head coach is eager to clinch two more recruits during the window, with a left-sided wing-back one of them.

In addition, he would require another back-up goalkeeper, should Pompey’s desire to loan out Alex Bass come to fruition.

Crucially, all five loan slots have been taken, ensuring the Blues most now focus on permanent arrivals, nonetheless Cowley is hopeful he can add more quality to the Fratton Park squad to accompany Carter and Walker.

Reeco Hackett has been Danny Cowley's choice at left wing-back of late, yet missed the goalless draw at AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night through injury. Picture: Simon Davies/ProSportsImages

He told The News: ‘I know what we want and what we need – and we are clear on that.

‘In the last two games we’ve done enough to get four points and only got one, which is frustrating, but we are going to grow now, we’re going to get better.

‘We’ve got Hayden and Tyler in, which is fantastic. I’m really pleased to bring in players of that quality who will have a positive effect on us.

‘I want another two more this month – plus one more if Alex Bass goes out.

‘I would like to be able to get to a place where Alex can go out and get some games, I really think it’s important for him and the job.’

Brown was handed his first league start in seven matches at AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night.

His availability had been hampered by injury issues, nonetheless the long-serving defender was called upon at left wing-back in the goalless draw.

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In his absence, Hackett had served in the role for eight of the last nine fixtures in all competitions.

Naturally a winger, the 24-year-old has been converted to a left-sided wing-back this season, although more regularly utilised in the position of late.

However, Brown, who has featured 131 times for the Blues, is viewed as a conventional left-back rather than wing-back.

Similarly, Hackett’s better work in what has been his breakthrough season has occurred in a far more advanced attacking role.

Yet with the former Bromley man out injured at Plough Lane, Cowley turned to Brown.

Pompey’s head coach added: ‘Reeco got a really nasty stamp on his foot with about five minutes to go on Saturday and it ballooned up.

‘We x-rayed it and there was clearly no break. It’s on his left side and there is bruising and swelling.

‘We are hoping it’s only short-term.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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