Paul Cook is convinced Caolan Lavery’s hunger for success can see him taken to the hearts of Pompey fans.
The 22-year-old this week arrived on a three-month loan from Sheffield Wednesday to boost the Blues’ attacking options.
All-in-all he brings a little bit extra to our squad at the minute at a time when I think it’s good to give us that little bit of a liftPaul Cook
With Adam McGurk and Jayden Stockley both out with ankle injuries, Lavery will challenge Matt Tubbs for a starting spot.
The ex-Chesterfield loanee yesterday afternoon played 29 minutes in a behind-closed-doors friendly in which Pompey defeated Cardiff City 2-1.
And the energetic Lavery’s work-rate and commitment was already apparent.
Cook said: ‘I think the first big point for every player is his love for the game and hunger for the game and that will shine out to our supporters when they see Lavery.
‘It is a good thing to have. It’s not the ability to just make a team better or to play particularly well, it’s the ability to lift the crowd or maybe produce a little bit of something on his own.
‘He is very robust, very strong, has that little bit of ingredient, that bit of devilment that all good players need.
‘All-in-all he brings a little bit extra to our squad at the minute at a time when I think it’s good to give us that little bit of a lift.
‘Lavery has a good appetite for the game and is a smashing young man.
‘It’s great Tubbsy came in on Saturday and got a couple of goals.
‘All of a sudden we have players within the building with a little bit more firepower and all playing with a bit of confidence – which is great for me and the club.
‘One of the big things nowadays is people expect players to hit the ground running and, certainly with us, I believe a squad can get you promoted or can get you success.
‘There is no one player we must rely on to deliver us success.
‘It is a group of players and our great belief as a club is that as the season goes on we are going to get stronger.
‘I think making signings like Caolan Lavery certainly goes a long way towards that.’
Stockley has still to return to Fratton Park following the ankle injury sustained against Yeovil Town. He remains at parent club AFC Bournemouth being treated, with Cook uncertain on his length of absence.
Regardless, that situation has contributed to Pompey’s boss adding to his striking ranks ahead of Saturday’s trip to Newport County.
Cook added: ‘Jayden is at Bournemouth at the minute, so it is watch this space.
‘We don’t know how long he will be out, indefinitely at the minute.
‘We have a right and an obligation to try to deliver the fans some success, so our job is to be out there and actively looking.
‘In Lavery we have brought a striker to the club who, in my opinion, is a really good player.’