POMPEY’S new manager has preached his passing principles
And that’s music to the ears of Jack Whatmough.
Now the belief the club’s new manager has quickly shown in the 18-year-old will provide an extra motivation for his injury fightback.
While his team-mates recuperate on holiday in the close season, Whatmough‘s undergoing the lonely fightback from his cruciate knee injury.
That means long days in the gym at the club’s Roko training base for the Gosport defender.
But Cook has taken time to speak to Whatmough, since being appointed boss earlier this month.
I’d like to think I can fit into his plans, as a defender who can play out from the back.Jack Whatmough
And the player has been enthused about his potential to fit into his new manager’s team framework.
Whatmough is confident the way the pair both like to play the game means he will be able to fit into the Blues boss’ plans.
He said: ‘I’ve had a talk with the gaffer and he’s told me what he wants.
‘I’d like to think when I play the game it shows that I like to pass the ball. I like to play football.
‘I watched Chesterfield the other week in the play-offs and they like to pass the ball.
‘They were very unlucky from what I saw of them in the play-offs.
‘If that’s how the manager likes to play I’d like to think I can fit into his plans, as a defender who can play out from the back.’
Cook has been quick to assure Whatmough he is firmly is his thoughts, despite being on the sidelines.
He has afforded the defender some time away this summer before continuing his recovery.
And he intends to get Whatmough on board when the players report back before heading to Portugal for a three-day stay at the end of June.
Whatmough said: ‘He’s been really good with me.
‘He’s said if I want some time away with the family I can take it.
‘Then, when the boys come back for pre-season, I can stay around them for a bit and get to know everyone.
‘I can bond with the team and get to know any of the new players who are coming in.’
It’s now been nearly 10 weeks since Whatmough damaged his knee ligament against Cheltenham at Fratton Park.
After starting the process of recovery, highly-regarded surgeon, Niall Flynn, carried out the knee surgery at Spire Hospital in Havant.
Whatmough is now five weeks on from that taking place, with his recovery running smoothly.
Sean Duggan and John Hayes, from Pompey’s medical team have been overseeing that process with plans ahead for some state-of-the-art rehab at England’s St George’s Park home in Staffordshire.
Whatmough said: ‘I will go to St George’s for a little break and some more rehabilitation.
‘They’ve got a lot of good facilities up there.
‘It may be good to get me away for a bit because I’m seeing the same four walls at the gym at the moment.
‘It’ll be nice to go somewhere else and do a bit of the rehab there.’