Pompey v Ipswich: Burgess to be thrown into replay battle

CHRISTIAN BURGESS has been tasked with snuffing out Ipswich's wealth of fire-power.

Christian Burgess Picture: Joe Pepler
Christian Burgess Picture: Joe Pepler

The Pompey defender makes his return tomorrow night in the FA Cup against the Tractor Boys, after five weeks out with an ankle injury.

Mick McCarthy has plenty of riches going forward in the shape of Brett Pitman, Freddie Sears, Luke Varney and Daryl Murphy.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

But Cook challenged Burgess to show he’s equal to the challenge.

He said: ‘Christian will start. Let’s get him in there and see how he goes.

‘It’s a great opportunity to get Christian back into the team. He’ll go in alongside Adam Webster.

‘It’s an opportunity for him to get a game under his belt.

‘Adam Barton has been absolutely excellent, but we have a chance to get a game into Christian there.

‘The important thing is we are trying to get all of our lads up to speed.

‘It’s a good game for Christian to come back in and be competitive.

‘Ipswich normally have a strong front two and that will be the case whoever Mick decides to play.

‘Good luck to Christian. It will be a big test for him but these are the games you look forward to.

‘You want to be involved in weeks like this. We have two great home games coming up.

Cook intimated Burgess is unlikely to be considered for a start against Oxford on Saturday, so the game arrives as a necessary one for him.

‘If he didn’t play, the likelihood is, with no mid-week game next week, he isn’t going to play for a long time,’ added Cook.

‘He probably wouldn’t be picked for Oxford. That is logical. Others will probably be picked. That’s the reality.

‘If he didn’t get picked tomorrow the likelihood is it would be six to seven weeks with no game for him and he’s ready to play.

‘He’s trained for a week now. He’s probably had 10-12 days training.

‘If he didn’t get played and then was thrown in he’d be rusty.’