CONOR CHAPLIN’s Pompey omission has been explained.
The young striker was left out of the Blues squad for last night’s 2-0 loss at Morecambe.
That was a cause for debate among supporters, with Chaplin restricted to two cameo appearances so far this season.
Cook explained he was keen to get midfield cover on the bench in Amine Linganzi.
There were also striking options to call on in Noel Hunt and Curtis Main.
The manager indicated Chaplin had a slight knock, although he was able to warm up before the game and indicated on social media he was not injured.
Cook stated the 19-year-old will be involved against Colchester on Saturday.
He said: ‘Conor had a little tiny bit of a calf.
‘It was a bit of a dilemma.
‘We had Linganzi come on to the bench as a midfielder.
‘So it was easy to leave Conor off the bench on this occasion.
‘But Conor will be back involved on Saturday – of course he will.’
Cook also indicated he viewed the news over Jack Whatmough’s scan results as positive, after the defender limped off at Crewe at the weekend.
The fear was Whatmough had suffered a recurrence of the cruciate injury suffered against Cheltenham last year.
But Cook knows the centre-half will be feeling low after the setback.
He said: ‘It’s good bad news for Jack. He’ll be disappointed but it’s good news it’s not the same injury with his knee.’
– JORDAN CROSS