Davies revels in attacking licence

Ben Davies. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ben Davies. Picture: Joe Pepler

BEN DAVIES signalled his return to the Pompey starting XI with two assists.

And the right-back believes that underlined his suitability to being part of the way Paul Cook wants to play.

Davies’ ever-present league record was broken in the defeat against Leyton Orient, as the 34-year-old made way for Kieron Freeman.

But after being restored against Bristol Rovers last Saturday, the summer arrival from Sheffield United served up a man-of-the-match performance at Fratton Park.

That continued form which has seen Davies stand out as one of the most consistent performers in Cook’s squad across 34 appearances.

The endeavour shown in his displays has also established Davies as a big fans’ favourite in that time.

Cook has made it clear from the outset of the campaign he expects his full-backs to bomb on at every opportunity.

Freeman was undoubtedly brought in with that in mind, with the Blades loanee seen as a forward-thinking option.

But Davies believes he has also shown he works well in that role since joining Pompey.

He said: ‘I think attacking full-back is a position made for myself.

‘The way the gaffer plays, you are always involved in the game.

‘It is high energy, you are up and down and it gives you a chance to get forward.

‘And when you are arriving from late when the play is building up, you can get a little bit of space to get a touch and get your cross in.

‘The way we play is heavily dependant on the full-backs – me and Enda (Stevens) going forward. Sometimes we can be the furthest players, width-wise, forwards.

‘And you are getting into advanced areas quite a lot you have to be getting the balls in.

‘On Saturday, it was nice to get a couple of crosses in and for them to come off.’

Davies reckons Saturday’s win over Bristol Rovers perfectly showcased the benefits of playing with full-backs with attacking intent.

His pinpoint delivery was met with a deft finish from Gareth Evans in the 19th minute for the opener.

Smith was involved in that move and then rose highest to nod home from a Davies cross in first-half stoppage time.

Davies’ link-up play with Evans has been another plus point in the way Pompey have gone about their work this season.

Evans has earned plaudits not only for his eight goals to date, but the work he puts in when operating in front of his team-mate.

Davies reserved praise for the way both men linked with him and allowed him the space to make an impact.

He said: ‘Saturday, for the first goal was a good example of our play.

‘Smudger (Michael Smith) played a really good ball out to me – a good ping, and it literally gave me time to have a touch and whip it in.

‘It was a great finish from Gaz (Evans).

‘And then the second one, Smudger if you put balls in the area for him, he will score goals.

‘I was delighted to see him get off the mark and obviously for Gaz, with the work-rate he puts in, it was great to see him score as well.’