Portsmouth turn to Nottingham Forest legend Stuart Pearce once again

Pompey have turned to Stuart Pearce to tighten up their defensive performances.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 5:00 pm
Stuart Pearce put Christian Burgess and Sean Raggett through their paces at Pompey training today. Picture: Joe Pepler

The former England man, a close friend of Kenny Jackett, has made sporadic appearances at the Blues’ Copnor Road training ground.

And this morning he oversaw additional work centring of Christian Burgess and Sean Raggett.

The duo are presently Jackett’s favoured centre-half partnership, having lined up alongside each other in Pompey's past six matches.

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And in the aftermath Saturday’s surrendering of a two-goal lead at Bristol Rovers, ex-Manchester City boss Pearce has focused on drilling defensive techniques into the pair.

Jackett said: ‘The centre-halves did some extra work with him, some heading and passing. He’s won a few caps!

‘Stuart has been quite a regular here, he has his own busy career, a successful career, but he comes in and is quite keen and happy to fit in with wherever we need him.

‘This morning it was working with the defenders.

‘It was focused on heading, defensive clearances, getting out into the channels and passing.

‘If you can do some individual work at some stage during the working week that’s good. 

‘He has a very busy career, but has been reasonably regular down here around us. He was down this morning and the session he took was with those two.’

Since paired against Bolton at the end of September, the partnership have conceded four goals in six matches.

That consists of three clean sheets, finally resolving a problem position to have dogged the Blues since the season’s start.

Jackett had employed a number of centre-halves, yet has now settled on the Burgess/Raggett axis.

And he is pleased how the duo have gelled in the absence of injured rivals Jack Whatmough and Oli Hawkins.

He added: ‘They haven’t done badly at all.

‘They obviously conceded two at Bristol Rovers, and we are not happy with that, but there has been a pretty good run.

‘It's good to see those two settle down, I have been pleased with both players in recent weeks.’