Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley reeling after yet another massive defensive blow with Gillingham looming

Danny Cowley has been plunged into another defensive crisis with Connor Ogilvie his sole central defender available for Gillingham.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 4:55 am
Sean Raggett must serve a one-match ban following his booking at Lincoln. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

In the process, Sean Raggett collected his fifth booking of the season, earning a one-match suspension.

That deprives the 27-year-old of facing his home-town club at the Priestfield Stadium on Saturday – while inflicts another agonising selection headache on Cowley.

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With Clark Robertson and Paul Downing injured, there are no more centre-halves available to partner Ogilvie.

At least skipper Lee Brown is scheduled to return, having sat out the Sincil Bank triumph through a one-game ban after totting up five bookings.

Yet he will come back into a squad missing the presence of player-of-the-season candidate Raggett, whose first-half booking impacts significantly on the Blues’ next match.

Cowley told The News: ‘I will find a new formation first because Sean Raggett is suspended and that’s a huge loss when you go to a powerful physical and direct team like Gillingham.

‘We will have to dust ourselves down and try to put another plan together. It’s not easy at the minute, that’s for sure.

‘I keep moaning about referees, I try not to on this occasion, but I thought it was a terrible booking. It was so soft, his first foul of the game.

‘We will have to find some solutions, that's what we have done well. There are many excuses but they don’t win you anything.

‘So what we have to try to do in these difficult moments is see the challenge and not the excuse. Try to find a solution.’

Downing injured his calf during a one-minute cameo from the bench at Wycombe recently.

Ironically, it was his comeback match after sustaining a hamstring problem in the first-half of October’s Papa John’s Trophy defeat to Sutton United.

Meanwhile, Robertson is progressing encouragingly following surgery on his leg, yet has still to return to full training.

The Scot has missed the last 16 matches in all competitions, although is pencilled in for a return around Christmas.

In the meantime, Cowley has a trip to Gillingham to contend with.

He added: ‘We’re not quite sure with Downing yet, he had a scan yesterday and we’re awaiting the results.

‘With Robertson, he can’t come back soon enough.’

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