PAUL COOK faced up to the loss of Gary Roberts and revealed: He’s put his career at risk.
The Pompey boss has been hit by a double injury blow with the news the Blues talisman and striker Matt Tubbs are facing a minimum of four weeks on the sidelines.
He should never have been playing. He was putting his career at risk by doing that.Paul Cook
Tubbs picked up an ankle injury which ruled him out against Macclesfield Town last weekend.
Now closer inspection of the problem has revealed he is facing an extended stay in the treatment room.
It’s a similar story for Roberts, who has battled on with the injury he picked up against Barnet in September.
Cook felt him playing through the pain showed his bravery and there was no doubt he was putting his future in the game in danger.
He said: ‘It was great credit Gary played on with that injury.
‘But as our supporters saw he was gradually getting worse by the game.
‘Matt Tubbs is now also out for a month with a similar injury.
‘Tubbsy missed five days because he was having injections in his foot.
‘People were probably saying I was trying to get rid of him.
‘Gary’s seen a couple of specialists.
‘He’s got a tendon problem which he’s had for a bit and he had a ligament problem.
‘It’s causing him a lot of problems.
‘He was playing on and missing training.
‘So he was losing his sharpness, which our supporters could see.
‘You’re not playing well and then you get frustrated with yourself.
‘The results were he should never have been playing.
‘He was putting his career at risk by doing that.
‘The supporters should realise that and that he deserves a pat on the back.
‘His ankle swells up massively but he’s prepared to go on to keep people happy.’
Roberts has played down the prospect of needing an operation but Cook believes that could yet be a reality for the attacking talent.
The 31-year-old is set to have sugar-water injections to help his recovery and contain the pain.
Roberts has made 13 appearances this season since arriving from Chesterfield in the summer.
Six of those outings have arrived since picking up the ankle injury.
Cook feels there is little doubt Pompey supporters have not yet seen the best of the former Swindon and Huddersfield man.
Cook said ‘It’s been a massive blow.
‘People should maybe take that into account sometimes.
‘Any team who loses Gary Roberts – and our supporters haven’t seen the best of him, they’ve only seen glimpses of him – are going to feel it.
‘But he got the injury against Barnet in September and that happened.
‘He might need an op. That’s the way it is.’