Why Portsmouth's man-of-the-moment is basking in Danny Cowley's new masterplan

Sean Raggett is convinced Pompey can thrive utilising their new-look playing system.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 5:00 pm
Sean Raggett is enjoying his role in Danny Cowley's new playing system. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

And the in-form central defender revealed he’s revelling playing alongside Shaun Williams and Kieron Freeman in a back three.

The former Norwich man has been an outstanding Blues presence this season, irrespective of their fluctuating performances.

He has managed to maintain displays of the highest calibre, including following Danny Cowley’s switch to a back three over the last four fixtures.

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The 4-0 demolition of Sunderland represented a first clean sheet in eight matches as well as ending a winless streak stretching back to mid-August.

And Raggett believes the formation change has been a positive influence on team showings.

He told The News: ‘I’ve been enjoying playing in a back three with Kieron and Shaun, it makes my job easier in a way.

‘These are two very experienced players who have played at a good level.

‘In my career, I’ve played this system a bit, but usually the other side of a three, not too much in the middle. It’s something new that I’m learning and enjoying.

‘It has not been a difficult adjustment. As a defender, a lot of similar things happen, especially in my game. I still look to be on the front foot and to win a lot of headers.

‘None of that really changes, it’s more the positional side of it which is a little different. As a three, I think we have done quite well.

‘The goals we have conceded don’t have anything to do with the formation. It’s more that we’ve made some individual errors, which can happen no matter what formation you play.

‘I don’t think it’s necessarily to do with the shape we are playing, it’s just a few individual errors. Overall, I think it has worked quite well for us.

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‘It’s up to the gaffer whether the system stays, but we all feel comfortable playing it, just as we feel comfortable playing in a four.

‘It’s good to have that flexibility. Each game is different – and different systems can ask teams different questions.’

Raggett reached 100 Pompey appearances in last month’s trip to Charlton.

Following a difficult start to his Fratton Park career, the 27-year-old has gone on to establish himself as an essential starter under both Kenny Jackett and Cowley.

This season he has been a consistent performer for the Blues, even rising above his team-mates during their recent eight-match winless run.

Yet, as ever, Raggett is modest when reflecting on his personal displays.

He added: ‘I always want to play well and feel I’ve had a decent start to the season, which I’ll look to progress and keep going.

‘I haven’t necessarily changed much about my game, I always work hard. If you work hard then you’ll get rewarded.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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