PAUL COOK has praised the on-going Pompey impact of ‘model pro’ Ben Davies.
The veteran has established himself as a fans’ favourite since arriving as a free agent in the summer.
Readers of The News last week voted the right-back as their player of the month for September.
It is recognition of the consistent and whole-hearted displays produced by Davies as the Blues continue to challenge for automatic promotion.
And Cook has been rightly delighted with the 34-year-old.
He said: ‘Ben has been outstanding.
‘He is getting a good name at the club among supporters that’s great. Supporters like having a bit of an affinity with players and it’s good for Ben to be one of those players.
‘I haven’t been surprised he has done so well at right-back because he is a good player. In our system is he really a right-back? Not really.
‘In the end he has got great energy, great quality, he’s just a good player and we have seen that this season.
‘At the minute I think all the squad have done well, I’m really pleased with how we have done – even if we are always looking for that extra formula.
‘But Ben just epitomises what we like about the game.
‘He is a model pro, a good lad who gets on with the game properly and conducts himself really well around the club. He’s a great role model to young players and is also a great player on the pitch on a Saturday.
‘Hence that is why he has been captain when Michael Doyle has not been around.’
Davies once again put in an impressive showing on Saturday as Pompey defeated Cambridge United 3-1.
In the process, the versatile performer collected a fourth booking of the season to put him close to a suspension.
Regardless, he was a constant presence high up the pitch, providing crosses from the right as the Blues picked up a fourth league away triumph of the campaign.
Similarly, Enda Stevens demonstrated just as much attacking instinct on the opposite flank from left-back.
And Cook saluted the duo’s performances since being part of his massive Fratton Park overhaul during the summer.
‘I do think at the minute in Ben and Enda Stevens we have two full-backs that are doing smashing,’ said the manager.
‘Our team should be built on not giving sloppy goals away, there has been a pattern to sloppy goals at Plymouth, Luton and places like that.
‘We have got to make sure we keep doing those things which makes you a good team – scoring goals and keeping clean sheets.
‘It’s the hardest part of the game to be good at both ends.
‘Some teams concentrate on being good at one.’
Pompey travel to Newport County on Saturday.