POMPEY’s fast-developing partnership between Michael Smith and Gary Roberts has been saluted.
Paul Cook praised the link-up between the pair, with Smith set to lead the line at Dagenham & Redbridge tomorrow as the promotion charge continues.
Roberts has developed a decent understanding with the loan striker in their six games together.
Cook’s side have harvested four wins and a draw from those fixtures – with 12 goals arriving.
The Blues boss admitted there’s sometimes no rhyme or reason to how such partnerships develop.
But their form is earning them the right to continue in the side.
Cook said: ‘Smith and Roberts have an unbelievable record playing together.
‘It’s funny sometimes how patterns develop.
‘I think they’ve played together six times and we’ve got a good record with them.
‘They’ve scored goals and created chances.
‘So all of a sudden Smith and Roberts are in the same team.
‘The lads who are winning the games at the minute are earning the right to play.
‘That leads to the consistency of the team selection, and we just keep going.’
Meanwhile, Paul Jones is set to start in goal ahead of Ryan Fulton at Victoria Road.
Cook believes it’s important to reward players for taking their chances.
He said: ‘In Ryan, we think we have an outstanding young keeper.
‘But I’m a believer if you have players waiting for their opportunity, and then you disappoint them, they shouldn’t be at the club.
‘If you are going to drop people when they are doing well there’s no point in them being here.’
– JORDAN CROSS