Paul Cook: Pompey have not seen best of Adam McGurk
Paul Cook is convinced the Fratton faithful have yet to see the best of Adam McGurk.
And Pompey’s boss is certain the forward will flourish with a consistent run in his side.
McGurk, a member of Burton’s League Two title-winning side last term, has been hampered by injury in his maiden Blues season.
The majority of his league appearances have arrived from the bench, although he has been a regular in Pompey’s cup sides.
Cook, however, has named the 27-year-old in his last three starting line-ups, which have all produced victories.
The most recent of McGurk’s six goals was netted in December against Accrington in the FA Cup.
Yet his boss is convinced there is plenty more to come.
He said: ‘Gareth Evans has been in the majority of teams all season but Adam McGurk has come in and been involved in good games this year.
‘He is a man, knows how the game should be played, can get over the ball, can score goals – and I don’t think the Pompey fans have seen the best of him.
‘Saturday against Plymouth could be his fourth consecutive game and he’s had that only once all season.
‘Adam hasn’t been picked and that has been his problem.
‘In general he’s had a really good season but hasn’t played enough due to his injuries.
‘Touch wood at the minute everything is going well.
‘He has never done bad. You look at when he has played in games. Notts County away was one of our strongest performances of the season, we played well there despite defeat.
‘He played at Carlisle when we dominated, Ipswich away, Derby at home, Barnet at home with him and Chaplin, scoring winning goals against Macclesfield and Accrington in the FA Cup, the equaliser at Oxford United.
‘He’s a good player, a good lad as well, who knows the game.
‘Away from home you can rely on him, he won’t dip out and knows the professional side of the game and what teams do to kill time.
‘He has that game intelligence – which some of us just haven’t got!’
McGurk has operated on the right of Pompey’s attacking three in the last three matches.
Yet on occasions he has served as the lone striker and also been in the hole behind.
Cook himself has still to unravel where the Ulsterman is most effective.
He added: ‘I am not so sure what Adam’s best position is because he can lead the line as good as anyone.
‘I think he could influence the game anywhere, even up front. We are quite lucky having that many options.
‘In general it would be hard for us to say what our strongest team is, you wouldn’t really know.
‘It is a debatable point, that is how football should be.
‘And I still don’t think we have seen the best of Adam yet.’