DANNY ROSE admitted he’s learning all the time from his fellow Pompey dog of war.
Rose is revelling in the experience of operating alongside Michael Doyle following his summer move to Fratton Park.
The 28-year-old and skipper Doyle are in pole position to nail down the two holding midfield slots as the Blues go to Crewe Alexandra.
The duo were given the nod to start against Carlisle last weekend as Cook went with a 4-2-3-1 formation.
And both men impressed with their energy and no-nonsense approach.
Rose has enjoyed linking up with Doyle in pre-season after joining from Northampton.
There is now Amine Linganzi to push the duo for playing time along with youngsters Adam May and Ben Close.
But Rose is loving getting stuck into opponents with Doyle.
He said: ‘He’s a vastly-experienced player.
‘He’s constantly in my ear all game.
‘Even though I’ve had decent experience in my career, I’m still learning from him.
‘You learn every day, and, to play alongside a player with his experience, you have to tap into that.’
Rose is cultivating his relationship with Doyle in the middle of the park all of the time.
But he feels that is bound to be the case all over the pitch for Paul Cook’s men at this formative stage of the season.
Cook has now recruited 13 players this summer following the arrivals of Linganzi and Liam O’Brien this week.
Seven of those new faces were handed debuts against Carlisle.
And there were a further four of the recruits given their bows at Coventry - along with young keeper Alex Bass.
That, naturally, means partnerships will be developing as games are played.
Roses said: ‘Everyone’s the same.
‘The full-backs and the wide men linking up well at times. There’s the two front men or Robbo (Roberts) off Smudger (Smith).
‘There are little combinations happening, and that will get better with time.’
Pompey look set to continue with the 4-2-3-1 formation they’ve employed in the first two games of the season tomorrow at Gresty Road.
That’s despite Cook indicating he was considering using two strikers at home.
The test will be to show more cutting edge after the 23 shots racked up on goal against Carlisle last weekend, as they dominated possession.
But Rose warned Pompey also have to be wary in those situations.
He said: ‘Shape is something you always have to work on.
‘We will probably be at our most vulnerable when we have good possession.
‘We’ll work on that but we’ve made steps towards being able to keep teams out.’
- JORDAN CROSS