Defender must learn from ‘losing the plot’

Christian Burgess leaves the field. Picture: Joe Pepler
Christian Burgess leaves the field. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Paul Cook told Christian Burgess he must learn from ‘losing the plot’.

Cook felt Burgess contributed to Pompey’s downfall as they lost their way in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Yeovil.

The defender was sent off for two bookings in as many minutes in the second half at Huish Park.

First, Burgess got involved in an off-the-ball incident with striker Francois Zoko after another clash moments earlier.

He paid the price for that when he then caught Ryan Dickson on the edge of the box moments later.

Fortunately, Gary Roberts came to the rescue with five minutes to go to salvage a point for his side.

Cook made no bones about the recklessness of the 24-year-old’s behaviour.

And that is something he needs to eradicate from his game moving forward.

Cook said: When you are young like Christian, if you get involved with a centre forward you’ve lost the plot.

‘We don’t come away to lose the plot. It’s not the red card, it’s losing the plot that bothers me.

‘We have 2,500 fans here and they are paying good money to see us be at it.

‘They are watching us struggle to be at it and then contrive to produce our own downfall.

‘You can’t have that as manager.

‘It’s not being disrespectful to people.

‘When you have a lot of young players like Christian they make mistakes.

‘My job is to come out and back the players.

‘Maybe in dressing rooms I won’t do that.

‘With all due respect to Christian he must make that mistake and learn.

‘If you don’t learn, the manager will do something more severe about it.’

It was a bitter-sweet afternoon for Pompey with the performance not at the levels Cook demands.

But there was satisfaction at the manner in which the team came from behind with 10 men to get a point.

There was a lot of elements in the performances which frustrated the Blues boss.

One of them was another failure to pick up a clean sheet.

That now makes it eight games since Pompey didn’t concede in the 3-0 win over Crawley last month.

That’s harsh on young keeper Ryan Fulton, who again made a magnificent stop to deny Francois Zoko.

Cook said: ‘We haven’t kept a clean sheet now for too long. That’s something that gets to me.’

‘It’s a shame for Ryan (Fulton), though, because he’s one of the lads who can hold his head high.

‘You can see that he’s going to be a top keeper.’

– JORDAN CROSS