PAUL COOK revealed Michael Doyle has been playing with a broken leg for Pompey this season.
The Blues boss paid tribute to his skipper’s drive as he led his side’s comeback victory at Dagenham & Redbridge.
Doyle dragged Cook’s side back into the game with the first of four second-half goals at Victoria Road.
The 34-year-old’s will proved a major factor in the turnaround success against John Still’s strugglers.
That is typified by the manner in which he’s been playing through the pain for his side with a fractured tibia.
Cook said: ‘Michael’s a leader of men. He wants to win so much. We all want to do that for the supporters.
‘He’s such a good player.
‘You expect your big players to do that. He never, ever doesn’t turn up.’
‘He’s a proper player, captain and he’s been outstanding at this club.
‘He doesn’t miss a training session and he’s played this year with a broken leg.
‘You can see he wants to win so much for the fans.
‘He epitomises what Pompey fans like: Pure will.
‘He has that desire which rubs off on others – and that’s what happened on the day.
‘It’s what you expect of Michael Doyle.’
Cook admitted he feels Pompey have been the beneficiary of other sides passing up the chance to hand Doyle a deal this season after he left Sheffield United.
He reckons others would have looked at Doyle’s veteran status unfavourably.
Cook said: ‘Our gain has been a loss to other sides, whether that’s Sheffield United or other sides who looked at him and maybe his age.
‘But he looks after himself and you can see that in the way he plays.’
- JORDAN CROSS