Cook pinpoints Pompey bench threat

Ben Tollitt
Ben Tollitt
The under-repair South stand will not be used for the Bournemouth friendly. Picture: Colin Farmery

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Ben Tollitt’s game-changing impact off the bench is a major weapon in his armoury, according to Paul Cook.

The Pompey boss believes the winger’s searing pace can continue to unlock tiring sides over the second half of the campaign.

When Ben Tollitt runs at you late on you have a problem.

Paul Cook

The 21-year-old has made 10 appearances this season, after arriving from non-league Skelmersdale.

All of those have arrived as a substitute, when Tollitt has carved out a reputation for making a mark on games.

Cook said: ‘We have players coming off the bench who can impact games.

‘When Ben Tollitt runs at you late on you have a problem.

‘The game’s become stretched and, when you have a stretched game, he will hurt you.

‘It’s a no-brainer bringing on the young lads because of their energy. They have the energy to hurt you.

‘Ben Tollitt has massive impact when he comes on.

‘Look at Northampton and Carlisle away. Then there’s his goal against York and his run for the Crawley goal from Gary Roberts.

‘The awareness of the pass, to run 70 yards and put that in to Gary was fantastic.

‘We’re lucky to have that.’

Cook has earned plaudits for his attacking substitutes this season, particularly on the road, which have often paid off.

He said: ‘What we try to do for supporters is not settle for a point. When fans travel away they haven’t done it to see us settle for a point.

‘The best defence is attack. That’s how I want to be.

‘I can’t always say it will be the same, but when you have the energy we have on the bench it can alleviate pressure. It’s a normal decision.’