Paul Cook’s to keep eye on gritty Pompey skipper

Pompey skipper Michael Doyle Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey skipper Michael Doyle Picture: Joe Pepler

Today saw Pompey's fixtures for the 2017-18 season released

Pompey Talk: Blues fixtures discussed

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PAUL COOK has lauded Michael Doyle’s desire to play through the pain barrier.

But the Pompey boss is aware he may have to put the brakes on the midfield enforcer’s campaign.

He’s injured. He was told to rest for four to six weeks.

Paul Cook

Cook revealed Doyle has been told to rest for ‘four to six weeks’ after picking up a knee injury against Northampton.

But the Blues skipper has soldiered on with the problem through the Christmas period.

Doyle has shown no signs of being hindered, as he continues to produce form which has seen him stand out this season.

However, the manager has decided to rest the 34-year-old for the FA Cup third-round trip to Ipswich today.

He lauded Doyle’s level of fitness, despite now falling into the veteran category.

But the Pompey boss stated he will have to keep a close eye on the Irishman in the coming weeks.

Cook said: ‘He’s Michael Doyle!

‘He’s injured. He was told to rest for four to six weeks.

‘You get used to Michael. He’s a very, very competitive character and wants to win.

‘But you have to manage that as a manager. You have to manage him properly.

‘Michael is very committed to bringing success to Portsmouth.

‘When we were doing six-mile runs in Southsea, our supporters would be astonished who the first three were.

‘It was Gareth Evans, Gary Roberts and Michael Doyle out of 35-40 players.

‘When you have lads like Doyle at the front, it shows how fit he is.

‘If you stopped now you’d think it would be Ben Davies or Michael Doyle for player of the year.

‘He’s Michael Doyle. He’s captained Sheffield United and Coventry. He’s played at big clubs.

‘He’s a fantastically committed player with a good work ethic.’

Doyle’s level of performance has ensured he has picked up the appreciation of Pompey fans this seasons.

It’s echoed by his manager and, after 26 appearances, he was rewarded with a year’s extension to his existing agreement this week.

That ties him to Pompey until the summer of 2017, although Cook explained there is no additional financial benefit to Doyle’s commitment.

He added: ‘There’s no pay rise. He’s at an age where he’s happy at a club.

‘It’s great credit to him he was willing to commit.

‘His level of professionalism deems that the club will benefit when you have players around like him.

‘But my job is to get players like Michael Doyle out of the team.

‘It means Portsmouth Football Club are getting stronger.

‘I know there’s madness in that and Michael may play for however long.

‘To get stronger you do that over period of time.

‘What he has done has impressed a lot of people this season.’

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