Cook: Forde gave me Pompey goalkeeping high
Boss Paul Cook hailed David Forde's Colchester contribution as the most influential from a Pompey keeper during his tenure at the club.
And he has backed the Republic of Ireland international to continue providing the Blues with the backbone they have long craved.
Forde pulled off several late stops to help Pompey secure a first win of the season against Colchester last Saturday.
It earned the Millwall loanee a touchline embrace from his delighted manager after the final whistle.
The 36-year-old will once again be in goal for tomorrow’s trip to Exeter as the Blues seek to record successive victories.
And Cook regards Forde’s U’s display as a keeping high during his 14-month Fratton Park tenancy.
He said: ‘It was a good day for David and a big win for us in terms of how a game can swing.
‘That was probably the first time in my career as Portsmouth manager I can actually say the goalkeeper has contributed to us winning a game.
‘That is the first time in 14 months.
‘Paul Jones did really well at Oxford away last season, he kept us in the game in the first half and we got a point. Apart from that, I can’t ever say to you there was a big win.
‘At the moment every opposition club says “our keeper did well today”. For example, Barry Roche at Morecambe, the Carlisle keeper.
‘David’s great, a proper pro, a man, he conducts himself around the club great, he is everything you want from a senior player and that is what he was brought here for.
‘He’s getting used to how opponents face us. He will be the first to tell you that it has shocked him. The first half against Colchester was totally one way.
‘David’s a big unit of a man who breeds confidence into the back four and long may it continue.’
Forde has kept two clean sheets in his four Pompey appearances after arriving in the summer.
However, Cook will lose his services for two matches after tomorrow’s trip to Exeter.
The keeper has been recalled to Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland squad.
Forde, who was left out of the Irish squad for the 2016 European Championship, is in the frame for their friendly with Oman (August 31) and a World Cup qualifier against Serbia (September 5).
Yet that makes him unavailable for Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy trip to Yeovil and the September 3 visit of Crawley.
It’s a gap which opens the door for Liam O’Brien.
Cook added: ‘Let’s get this game out of the way first.
‘We will pick the team after this week, we want to try to win against Exeter.
‘If we win tomorrow we will be up and running going into two home games.
‘Liam O’Brien – like Amine Linganzi – has done nothing wrong, he is doing smashing, working hard every day.’