Rocha’s ready to roll

Ricardo Rocha is set to feature at Leyton Orient tonight after training yesterday
Ricardo Rocha is set to feature at Leyton Orient tonight after training yesterday

Guy Whittingham has no qualms about throwing Ricardo Rocha back into action against Leyton Orient.

Rocha yesterday completed his Pompey return in time to feature at Fratton Park against Orient tonight.

The 34-year-old has been without a club since being released by former Blues boss Michael Appleton in the summer after joining Pompey in 2010.

But with Carl Dickinson returning to Watford after his loan spell came to a close, Whittingham has moved quickly to recruit Rocha’s services.

The defender will be on the bench for tonight’s clash, despite not playing since the 2-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest in April.

Whittingham insists he will not have any reservations about turning to the Portuguese ace if necessary.

He said: ‘Ric’s a great character and it’s great to have him back at the club once again.

‘He’s been training with us and is good around the place. We need him involved straightaway. He’s such an experienced player, he knows his own body.

‘He feels very fit but isn’t match fit.

‘Physically, as far as running is concerned, he’s looked after himself and is in good shape.

‘He’ll be on the bench for the game and, if the scenario came that he needed to go on, he can do that.

‘When you need to dig in to get results, he’s someone you can rely on.

‘So he’s on the bench and willing to come on if he needs to come on.’

Whittingham believes Rocha’s return brings the kind of experience and competition for places in the middle of defence that Pompey have been missing.

He said: ‘Ric’s adaptable. He’s played left-back and plays left centre-half.

‘It’s good, though, because we need the competition.

‘At the moment we have two centre-backs who don’t have competition.’