Paul Cook wants winger at Pompey

Ben Tollitt Picture: Joe Pepler

Ben Tollitt Picture: Joe Pepler

Alex Kiwomya

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BEN TOLLITT has been told his future lies at Pompey.

Paul Cook has made it clear the winger is wanted at Fratton Park next season.

The Blues boss paid tribute to the 21-year-old’s potential and underlined he sees him staying put at the club.

Tollitt is one of four members of Cook’s squad whose deals are up in the summer – Ben Davies, Brian Murphy and Danny Hollands being the others.

But Cook wants the summer arrival from Northern Premier League side Skelmersdale as part of his options.

He has been impressed with the manner the Liverpool-born man has settled into the professional game.

Tollitt has made 14 appearances off the bench this season and grabbed his maiden Pompey goal against York in November.

Cook feels the former Everton trainee has been unfortunate not to experience more playing time.

But he anticipates more minutes for him between now and the end of the season.

And the Pompey manager has plans for Tollitt moving forward.

Cook said: ‘Ben Tollitt has fantastic energy and pace – he hurts people with what he does.

‘When he comes on he always has a massive, positive effect on the game.

‘He’s unlucky to have not played more football. Without a doubt.

‘There’s games where he will hurt people.

‘Carlisle away, Northampton away, Crawley at home, York at home and the rest.

‘At any given time you would have liked to have given him more minutes.

‘He’s working hard at his game which is important for young lads.

‘Between now and the end of the season I’m sure he might, could or will have an effect on what we are doing.

‘He’s done great. He’s had a lot of football this year.

‘It’s a big club to play for, Portsmouth.

‘What he needs is a run of games.

‘It’s a steep learning curve for him, but the kid is a good trainer. He works hard and he will be back in.

‘He has a great future at this club – this club, without a shadow of a doubt.’

Cook feels Tollitt isn’t the only player who can count himself unlucky not to have picked up more playing time of late.

The likes of Gareth Evans and Kieron Freeman also fall into that category.

‘It’s been the strength of the squad,’ added Cook.

‘When you look at our bench, though, it’s not easy to get players in sometimes.

‘I haven’t been able to get Kieron Freeman on the bench.

‘Kieron’s a fantastic player.

‘It’s tough on lads. Gareth Evans is sub at the minute.

‘There’s an argument he should be in the team. That’s a balanced argument.

‘So keeping players happy is difficult.

‘I like them all. I just can’t pick them all.’

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