The answers to Portsmouth centre-back nightmare - including former QPR, Sheffield United, and Millwall men

Danny Cowley has another defensive conundrum to solve for tomorrow’s trip to Gillingham - and his options are scarce.

The former Lincoln City head coach may have believed his nightmare at the back was beginning to ease, after finding a solution to his left-back issues before Tuesday’s victory.

But with Sean Raggett’s suspension-yielding yellow card at Sincil Bank making him unavailable for tomorrow - coinciding with Paul Downing’s and Clark Robertson’s injuries the 43-year-old could have another headache before 2pm on Saturday with no senior centre-backs at his disposal.

Before the former Norwich defender’s absence, Pompey would have likely reverted back to a back four with Lee Brown returning from his own suspension.

And the 31-year-old’s availability may provide some alternatives to answering his boss’ conundrum.

With the Blues benefitting immensely against the Imps by reverting to a back three on Tuesday night, there is an option to do so once again.

Connor Ogilvie will be able to maintain his impressive form at centre-back, while Kieron Freeman and Brown could operate either side of him with Reeco Hackett and Mahlon Romeo deployed as wing-backs.

If Cowley desires Hackett further forward on the pitch, then he could drop Shaun Williams into the left-side of the back three and push Brown to wing-back.

Portsmouth defender Sean Raggett will be unavailable for the trip to Gillingham after gaining too many yellow cards. Picture: Jason Brown

But there may be a reluctance to do so considering the former Millwall man’s flourishing partnership with Joe Morrell in midfield – while his inclusion in defence increased the club’s vulnerability earlier this term.

In addition, the 35-year-old slot into a back four with Brown, Ogilvie, and Romeo – hich he did on occasions for Millwall and MK Dons.

However, manager’s across England are often unwilling to employ two left-footed centre-backs which could open the door for Freeman in a back four.

And with the former Sheffield United man rarely playing at the heart of defence throughout his career, this may put paid to this idea.

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