Cook pinpoints future Pompey captain
CHRISTIAN BURGESS has been tipped to become a future Pompey captain.
And Paul Cook has backed the Blues defender to bounce back from his costly mid-week error against Morecambe.
It was Burgess who made the mistake which led to the Shrimps equalising in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Fratton Park.
The 25-year-old went for a header that was Matt Clarke’s to win, creating the space which Lee Molyneux profited from.
But Cook feels that’s a rare blip from a player who’s had a strong second season, following his arrival from Peterborough in 2015.
And the Pompey boss feels Burgess is exhibiting the qualities which will one day see him wearing the captain’s armband for his club.
Cook said: ‘I think Christian is an outstanding young player.
‘I think the way he conducts himself around the club is an absolute credit.
‘He would have been the first in on Wednesday morning doing his gym work and building his upper-body strength.
‘I think if you look at Christian over a period of time at this club, you’d look at him as a future captain one day.
‘I think he’s a leader by example and a fantastic player to have around your club.
‘I think he’s a credit to himself and his family.
‘Unfortunately for Christian, he’s intelligent! There’s not a lot of us around him who are!
‘He’s very popular and a very popular lad you enjoy working with.’
Cook branded Burgess’ mistake a ‘moment of madness’ as he vacated his position to challenge for the ball.
The central defender failed to get enough purchase on his header, allowing Kevin Ellison to play in Molyneux, as Gareth Evans was forced across from the right-back position.
Cook isn’t about to linger on the incident, however, with Pompey maintaining the most miserly defence in the division.
The only other goal conceded in the past five games came via Mauro Vilhete’s free-kick at Barnet.
The manager believes his defence is showing form to be pleased with.
Cook added: ‘He won’t come across and try to head one next time!
‘He just had a moment of madness! That happens in football.
‘He had a memory block. I think he had one of those moments which players have.
‘If everyone in football was to work as hard as Christian they’d have good days.
‘The first one who would have felt that on Tuesday would’ve been Christian himself. So it’s important you show your support.
‘We’ve conceded two goals in the past few games. A free-kick and a moment of madness. We’re doing alright.
‘The most important message from me to the players is keep going and keep believing in what you’re doing.’