Rocha’s ready to roll

Ricardo Rocha says he will keep battling away to regain his first-team place Picture: Barry Zee
Ricardo Rocha says he will keep battling away to regain his first-team place Picture: Barry Zee
Brett Pitman had a great chance to hand Pompey the lead in the first half against Rotherham Picture: Joe Pepler

Knight: Pompey must improve higher up the pitch

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Ricardo Rocha told Steve Cotterill: I’m ready and waiting.

The Pompey defender has fired a message to his manager that he is primed to take his chance after being left waiting on the bench.

And the former Portugal international insists there is no problem with his relationship with Cotterill, despite being dropped from the starting line-up.

Rocha has found himself out of the first XI for the past six games after playing the first two matches of the campaign.

The 32-year-old has been axed, with Jason Pearce coming into the equation and impressing alongside Greg Halford in central defence.

Rocha promised there was no anger on his part at being left out.

He vowed to do all he can to catch his manager’s eye and win back a starting berth.

Rocha said: ‘There is a large squad and there is a lot of quality in the squad.

‘The manager makes his choices and he has do that.

‘I need to keep working as I’m doing. I’m working well and I’m training well.

‘So I’m just waiting for a chance to play again.

‘Jason is playing and is a good, young player. He did well last season at Bournemouth.

‘He has come here now, works hard every day and is playing well.

‘There’s a lot of quality in defence. Not just defence but all over the pitch.

‘Everyone is fighting for their place in the team.

‘We’re training hard every day. The manager makes his choices and the others have to work hard to get back in.’

Despite being hungry for a place in Cotterill’s team, Rocha promises there are no problems with his manager at not being selected.

Instead, the former Spurs defender insists he has a healthy respect for his boss and his approach to the game.

Rocha said: ‘I have a good relationship with the gaffer.

‘There is no problem. These are the choices he has to make.

‘He makes his own choices and I have to respect them as a professional. I do respect them. I see the choices he makes and then I work to get an opportunity to play again.

‘That’s not just me. That’s all the lads who aren’t playing at the moment.

‘He does everything for us, to be fair. He tries to give us the best conditions to work and do well.

‘He protects us and then asks us to do our best because he knows our quality.

‘He’s a good manager. We need to do our best for him, the fans and the club.’