Rocha agrees to stay at Pompey

Ricardo Rocha has verbally agreed to remain at Pompey for another month    Picture: Barry Zee
Ricardo Rocha has verbally agreed to remain at Pompey for another month Picture: Barry Zee
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss points to lack of cutting edge

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Ricardo Rocha has agreed to stay at Pompey.

The former Spurs defender has verbally agreed a new one-month deal and will sign the short-term contract this week when his current agreement expires.

The Portuguese centre-back was brought back to the club by Guy Whittingham soon after taking caretaker charge and looks set to stay for the remainder of the season.

Rocha’s contract runs out tomorrow but the 34-year-old has already indicated his desire to stay and Whittingham wants to keep him.

The caretaker boss said: ‘I am pretty sure Ric will be with us.

‘He knows we want him here and he knows the fans want him here, so we can be pretty sure he will be here.’

Whittingham knows he faces the prospect of building a young side under tough financial restrictions at the club.

But he also wants the right blend of experience and the right personalities at Pompey.

And for Whittingham, Rocha is exactly the type of player he wants at the club.

He said: ‘Ric is that type of character we need and he knows that.

‘And we want to make sure those are the types of people we bring in and they are good pros.’

Whittingham has also revealed fans’ favourite Rocha has lost none of his competitive edge, even in training matches.

The Blues caretaker boss said: ‘Footballers are footballers – they like winning and hate losing.

‘It’s very competitive out there in training still, even in small-sided games.

‘And I have refereed a lot of those games.

‘You always get people moaning at you – Ricardo is the chief moaner.

‘But they do that because they want to win.’

While Rocha has agreed an extension, Whittingham has confirmed there is currently no prospect of Benjani making a similar return, even though he continues to train with the Blues squad.

And the Fratton Park chief is unaware of reported interest from Brighton in Hungarian centre-back Gabor Gyepes, who would be free to leave the club if a suitable offer came in for his services.

Whittingham said: ‘No. There’s no chance of Benji signing here.

‘And there’s no news whatsoever on Gabor. I certainly haven’t heard anything.’

– STEVE WILSON