Midfielder says Cook's belief spurs him on
Gary Roberts showed exactly why Paul Cook was so keen to bring him to Fratton Park with a man-of-the-match display against Morecambe.
The midfielder helped drag Pompey back into the game after falling three goals down inside 38 minutes.
First he fired home a free-kick from the edge of the box just before the break, before adding another impressive solo strike after it.
That allowed substitute Jayden Stockley to salvage a point when he headed home Adam Webster’s cross in stoppage-time.
And Roberts insists that the freedom he is afforded is the reason why he followed Cook down south from Chesterfield over the summer.
He said: “It’s great that I’ve got a manager who believes in me and I always try to repay him on the pitch.
“He’s signed me twice now because he feels I can go out there and help him on the pitch.
“When you know he’s got your back, you can try passes and shots that you might not otherwise attempt.
“We got the goal before the break and that allowed us to have a real go in the second half.
“The manager stayed positive at half-time, but everyone knew that we need to liven up a bit.
“We came out and there was a bit of a reaction, but we know we should be winning our home games.
“Yes, we showed a bit of character to get back into the game and we remain unbeaten, but it’s still not good enough.”
Pompey now face a stiff test against Championship side Reading in the second round of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night.
Roberts said: “It’s another game and we know we’ve got to play better otherwise we’ll get opened up.
“We’ll work hard in training and try to put right the things we didn’t do well enough against Morecambe.”