Cook: Pompey don’t need powerhouse at back

Christian Burgess. Picture: Joe Pepler
Christian Burgess. Picture: Joe Pepler

Paul Cook has dismissed the need for a powerhouse defender.

The Pompey boss feels the players he has at the back give him all the options he needs.

He reckons a settled formula will allow his side to mould themselves into a stronger outfit.

Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Hartlepool was their ninth league shut out of the campaign.

Cook has heard calls for a more physically imposing presence at the back.

The January transfer window will give the Pompey boss a chance to bolster his options.

With Dominic Hyam returning to Reading, Cook has four central defenders to call on.

But he doesn’t feel there is a need to add a physical presence at the back.

Cook said: ‘I’ve heard people say we need the big 6ft 6in centre-half who heads it. We don’t.

‘It’s important we have continuity, though.’

Cook highlighted the presence of Christian Burgess as being key for his side moving forward this season.

The 25-year-old is a long way from the rugged kind of defender often associated with League Two.

But Cook has belief in Burgess to execute his demands on the pitch.

He said: ‘In Christian, I have a defender I have great faith will go a long way.

‘Christian is in charge for that area of the pitch.

‘He’s played enough games for me now and knows how I want the game played.

‘Christian could have done a bit better, at times, over the last couple of months.’

‘But when you see a lot of our goals scored they start with Christian’s passes.

‘He has a part to play in both boxes.’