Guy striving for those winning combinations

David Connolly has established a good partnership with Patrick Agyemang in acttack Picture: Joe Pepler
David Connolly has established a good partnership with Patrick Agyemang in acttack Picture: Joe Pepler

Guy Whittingham is seeking the Pompey partnerships to fire them up the league this season.

But he has reiterated it will take time before his new-look squad can gel into a formidable force.

The season started with a bump in the form of a 4-1 opening-day defeat against Oxford.

It served as a reminder that Pompey are in for a tough task if they are to leave League Two at the first opportunity.

For Whittingham, it also provided proof his side require more minutes together to operate as a successful unit.

The Blues take on Championship side Bournemouth tonight in the Capital One Cup, with several changes expected.

Amid it all, though, he is still striving for his team to get that familiar feeling.

He said: ‘It’s a tough league, people have made us favourites but it doesn’t mean it is going to go that way.

‘We are where we are. Yes, we think we’ve got some decent players but it also takes time for them to work together and be cohesive as a team.

‘That is what we are striving for, and the quicker the better for it – but it will take time.

‘I don’t see many partnerships at the moment and I still think it is very early. More than half the team is new so it will take its time.

‘The only one formed already is probably Patrick Agyemang and David Connolly. They are the two who have played together for six months, so they will have an understanding.

‘You can maybe say Yassin Moutaouakil and Jed Wallace in many ways have the same relationship, having played together for a while, but there are a lot of new partnerships out there.

‘There is no time frame for achieving that, it depends how many games they are getting.

‘I don’t think it’s a matter of time. It’s a matter of playing minutes, that is where you get the understanding.

‘Plus, when you play in the small-sided games we do here, we organise it so if they are going to be playing with each other on Saturday then they will probably be in the same team in training.

‘It’s all about getting used to each other.’

Whittingham has revealed he will make changes to his team for Bournemouth tonight.

He will do so while weighing up whether to split up some of the partnerships currently within his side.

Agyemang and Connolly is one likely option to split up as he seeks to rotate his small squad, with Tom Craddock in the frame.

There is also Sonny Bradley and Joe Devera as the central defensive partnership which is expected to form the backbone of the side this season.

Although, Ertl’s suspension ensures he will not continue alongside Simon Ferry for at least the next three matches.

Whittingham added: ‘There will be a few changes because I think there has to be.

‘We’ve got a pre-season where players have minutes under their belt, you can’t now not keep that topped up.

‘There will be one or two changes and that is good because they are players who were very close to getting into the first-team for the first game of the season anyway.’