Portsmouth transfer news: Why Danny Cowley will be delighted with Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray's update on Hayden Carter's immediate future

Danny Cowley’s hopes of kick-starting his January recruitment drive have received a major boost.

By Mark McMahon
Thursday, 13th January 2022, 5:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th January 2022, 5:07 pm

The Pompey boss has been given the green light to continue his pursuit of Blackburn Rovers centre-back Hayden Carter by his opposite number at Ewood Park, Tony Mowbray.

Talking to The News today, Cowley was reluctant to speak openly about the 22-year-old who has emerged as the Blues’ top central defensive target this month – one of two key areas he hopes to reinforce.

He was keen to respect Rovers and not talk publically about one of their players.

But while the Blues head coach was staying light-lipped on the 6ft 2in right-sided centre-half, Mowbray was being more forthcoming with his views on the player’s immediate future.

And it was a sound bite that will encourage Cowley to pick up the pace in his attempt to bring Carter to Fratton Park on loan for the remainder of the season.

Speaking ahead of his side's Championship trip to Cardiff on Saturday, Mowbray said: ‘My view, and it’s a very strong view, is that Hayden Carter needs to go and play football.

‘He needs to play 20 games if he can between now and the end of the season.

Blackburn Rovers centre-back Hayden Carter his high on Pompey's wanted list this month Picture: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

‘I want him to know what it takes to play in front of a crowd every week and know what it takes to win when you’re in the team.

‘I’d like him to go and play in a team, like he did at Burton, and get that experience.’

Carter has made 10 appearances for Blackburn this season as the Championship’s surprise package sit third in the table and well placed to make a return to the Premier League.

Only five of those outings have been league starts, though, as he sits down the defensive pecking order at Ewood Park.

Rovers clearly see him as one for the future.

But for Cowley, who has sanctioned the departure of defender Paul Downing, he’s a player who would fit into his Fratton Park plans now.

And while the Blues head coach was reticent to say too much about the centre-back, it’s clear he holds Carter in high regard.

‘He had a loan spell at Burton Albion second half of the season,’ said Cowley.

‘He did very well by all accounts - obviously played a big part in their revival and their form over the second half of the season, which was just exceptional.

‘So he’s a boy that we’re aware of.

‘I think for us, we anticipate a departure in that area of the pitch and we will look to bring another player in in that position and of that profile.

‘Hayden Carter is a right-footed centre-half but you’ll all respect that there’s other right-footed centre-halves out there as well, so time will tell.

‘We’ve got to be careful because he is a Blackburn Rovers player and I don’t even know if they’ll actually make him available for loan.

‘I know Mark Venus, who is the assistant manager (at Blackburn).

‘He was my coach at Hornchurch, believe it or not, so I know Mark well and I wouldn’t want to upset him, so no comment.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Get 30 per cent off our sport subscription, which gives readers unlimited access to all our sports coverage for just 9p a day, by using the promo code JanSports30. The deal expires at midnight on January 31.