Danny Cowley reveals why former Blackburn center-half Paul Downing was overlooked for third Portsmouth return

The Blues recently employed left-handed midfielder Shaun Williams and right-back Kieron Freeman in their new defensive system.

The pair joined Sean Raggett as Pompey’s defender for successive 2-2 draws with Plymouth and Charlton.

Center-half Downing watched both matches from the bench, an absence also coinciding with skipper Clark Robertson’s quad injury.

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Yet despite a recognized center-back in his three fullbacks and a clash with Burton tomorrow night (7.45 p.m.), Cowley is ready to continue ignoring Downing.

He said The news: “At the moment, Paul is on the 18th day. I trust him and he has to wait for his opportunity.

“He didn’t do as well as we would have liked in the game against Cambridge United, but he was just one of 11 who didn’t do as well as we would have liked.

“That day not many people walked out with credit and because of that he was probably one of the unfortunate ones, if you will, to be left out. After a performance like that, a lot of them could have been.

Paul Downing has been overlooked for Pompey’s last three games, despite being a center-back. Photo: Joe Pepler

“But Kieron gives us a lot of possession. He has qualities of a back that I like in defense.

“Kieron, Marcus (Harness) and Mahlon (Romeo) caused a lot of trouble for Charlton.

“Look at our first goal, if it is scored in the Premier League everybody is talking about it and it is shown time and time again on Sky Sports.

“He went from goal line to goal line. We pulled in the press, Kieron shot two players, passed it to Ryan Tunnicliffe, who sped him up.

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“There’s a spin of Marcus off, creating space for Mahlon, and he then played it to Ronan, who scores.

“There are a lot of details that go into this lens – such a good lens.”

While Pompey appears to have recovered his offensive mojo, defensively, concerns remain.

With six goals conceded in three Ligue 1 games, it’s a developing trait that concerns a streak of six league games without a win.

Cowley added: “We want them to win, we want the teams to be really fun to watch, teams that everyone loves to watch, but we also have to rack up the points.

“My whole life has been about winning and I’ve always found ways to win, but we want to play.

“We want to enjoy our football and I know he has to win.

“I hope we can play a game that is really fun to watch and good to win. It’s the perfect performance for me.

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