PAUL COOK backed Christian Burgess’ temperament as he becomes a target for rivals.
The Pompey boss believes the defender has the demeanour to handle opponents trying to incite him.
Cook stated he felt Burgess ‘lost the plot’ after he was sent off at Yeovil a fortnight ago.
The 24-year-old got involved in an off-the-ball incident with Glovers forward Francois Zoko after a clash moments earlier, leading to his dismissal.
Then Burgess found himself at the centre of a running battle with Cambridge United striker Jimmy Spencer last weekend.
It appeared he was being targeted by the U’s, but it was the latter who was withdrawn at the interval – a foul away from being sent off.
Cook feels the summer arrival from Peterborough has to tread carefully in the face of being provoked by rivals.
That could now continue to happen over the season’s finale.
But the manager backed Burgess’ mind set and feels he has a decent mentality to be able to handle any provocation.
‘Christian has normally got a good temperament,’ said Cook.
‘Last Saturday their lad was on a mission in the first half.
‘And the kid caught him with a cracking right just before he got sent off at Yeovil.
‘But then Christian’s head had gone.
‘He has got to learn from that.
‘He has got to learn but he has a good temperament, in my opinion
‘He’s an intelligent kid who wants to do well.
‘Christian’s made a couple of mistakes, but so have they all.’