Portsmouth boss tackles search for right defensive mix and prospect of moves for Stoke's Harry Souttar and Bristol City's Sammie Szmodics

Kenny Jackett admitted Pompey are still searching for defensive balance as their player hunt continues.

Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 6:30 am

And the Blues boss zeroed in on the prospect of landing a left-sided central defender and moving Sean Raggett to the right side of the centre-half pairing, with the league campaign days away.

Jackett distanced himself from moves for both players when asked about his interest.

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But he acknowledged the importance of finding the right blend to a back four which collapsed in dire fashion at Stevenage.

Jackett said: ‘He (Souttar) is not one we’ve bid for or enquired for.

‘We do know Harry Souttar of course from Fleetwood last year and he’s a Stoke player, but no, he’s not one we’ve enquired about.

‘There’s lots of lists and these younger players are always on everybody’s scouting lists.

Harry Souttar, centre, playing for Australia

‘There’s a difference though, between putting bids in and being on scouting lists.

‘We’ll see (if Pompey will go for a left-sided centre-half). Sean Raggett played there last season and we have at times lacked a left foot there.

‘But Raggett and Burgess produced a good partnership and as we stand here now Raggett, Downing and Whatmough are the three recognised centre-backs.

‘They are the ones so far in the pre-season period who are competing for two places.

‘It (moving Raggett to the right of the central defensive pairing) very much depends on who you bring in really.

‘For balance you’re always looking for combinations and good players.

‘My focus has been on the three we have at the moment, and, in terms of additions right the way through, there may or may not be further additions.

‘It very much depends on who’s available.’

Pompey are known to be in the market for extra attacking fire power and some additional pace up front.

Jackett stated that hasn’t extended to a bid for Szmodics, however, as he preferred to focus on the promise shown by his forwards in pre-season.

He added: ‘No, he (Szmodics) is not someone we’ve bid for.

‘We’ve looked in all areas. We’ve got two full-time recruitment people.

‘But similarly I’ve been pleased with my forwards in pre-season.

‘We do want them to stay fit because the attacking lads have been in good form in training.’

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