Pompey boss wants more Linganzi physicality – but not red cards

Amine Linganzi. Picture: Joe Pepler
Amine Linganzi. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jamal Lowe. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Amine Linganzi has been urged to demonstrate more midfield aggression.

Although Paul Cook stressed he doesn’t want a repeat of that deserved Cambridge United dismissal.

Amine Linganzi was sent off at Cambridge. Picture: Joe Pepler

Amine Linganzi was sent off at Cambridge. Picture: Joe Pepler

The 26-year-old is currently serving a three-match ban following a straight red at the Abbey Stadium.

However, with suspensions not counting in the Checkatrade Trophy, Linganzi will line-up against Bristol Rovers tonight.

The former Accrington man has been granted a Fratton Park stay until January, after impressing on an initial month-by-month deal since the summer.

He dislodged Danny Rose from Cook’s first-team to start five successive matches before the Cambridge sending off.

Amine also has to do things quicker, moving the ball quicker at times

Paul Cook

Yet Pompey’s boss still wants more from a player he believes has plenty to offer his side.

And he could return to the midfield tonight as Cook makes his customary widespread changes in the competition.

He said: ‘Amine shouldn’t go for those challenges and Christian (Burgess) shouldn’t clear the ball like he did. It was definitely a straight red.

‘You just feel there is a player in there, but he has got to come out of that more, he has to be more aggressive in everything he does.

‘Not that tackle at Cambridge, definitely not, but he has so much physicality and body strength that he can impose himself on the game.

‘At the point in the game where you need those type of players he went and got sent off.

‘He also has to do things quicker, moving the ball quicker at times.

‘If you don’t play a lot of games and are not up to match speed when you go into the team that can happen. You don’t then want to take them out because you have to give them a chance.

‘Amine has been involved in a good run, he’s a lovely lad who needs games to get fit. He can pass the ball well, can break up play well and has a lot of good qualities.

‘But you can’t tackle like he did at Cambridge’.

Linganzi earned his League Two full debut with Pompey at Leyton Orient last month.

It began a spell of seven points from a possible 12 with the midfielder partnering Michael Doyle as the holding midfield pair.

With the duo suspended for Saturday’s FA Cup visit of Wycombe, Danny Rose and Ben Close came into the side as replacements.

The result was a desperately-disappointing 2-1 defeat, prompting elimination from the competition at the first-round stage.

Doyle is also available for tonight’s clash with Rovers, his one-match ban for amassing five yellow cards having now been served.

However, he is set to be rested, as in line with other Checkatrade Trophy matches. Linganzi, though, will make a 10th Blues outing.

Cook added: ‘Amine can play against Bristol Rovers tonight so it will give someone a break.

‘We’ll make changes again in this competition, it’s important other players get an opportunity.’