'None of them want to be rested': The fierce Portsmouth centre-half battle which is sidelining one of players of the season

It was once unthinkable, now Connor Ogilvie finds him rotated and rested as Danny Cowley basks in new-found defensive options.

Wednesday, 16th February 2022, 4:30 pm

During 17 successive starts, the former Gillingham man emerged as a revelation at centre-half, establishing himself as a firm fan favourite.

His battling qualities, gutsy displays and dogged determination won many admirers and even escalated chances of player of the season recognition.

However, the return to fitness of Clark Robertson has shaken up the left-side of Pompey’s back three.

The last five fixtures has seen the duo alternate, with the Scot given three starts and Ogilvie two.

Cowley explained to The News: ‘The Doncaster selection was just to freshen up the back line up, we thought tactically we could use Clark’s diagonal out to Marcus Harness.

‘We felt for this game, Connor had put a lot of energy and effort into the previous two matches. Clark’s a very important player to us, while Connor can play in the middle as well.

Despite an impressive maiden season at Fratton Park, Connor Ogilvie has found himself sharing the left centre-half spot with Clark Robertson in recent weeks. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages

‘We are a small squad and need everybody fit, we need everybody ready, and everybody contributing.

‘We had three games in a week and are a very small squad, but the great thing is there’s very little between the players, so one can come in and do a good job.

‘Clark’s a good player, we have to get him up to speed and it’s hard. The only way you get him up to full speed is through playing, ultimately.

‘He’s getting there and still not up to his full speed, but he would have really benefited from that Doncaster game and that’s really positive.’

Ogilvie has totalled 27 appearances and one goal since his Fratton Park arrival in August on a two-year deal.

His versatility has seen him feature at left-back, the centre of midfield and, of course, as a centre-half in either a back two or back three.

And Cowley is full of praise for the 26-year-old’s Blues contribution so far.

Pompey’s head coach added: ‘Connor has been brilliant, let me tell you, honestly he’s the best kid. You know none of them want to be rested, he doesn't want to be rested, they understand.

‘He’s so professional. Low maintenance and high output – they are the players I like.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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