Bristol Rovers 1 Pompey 2: Paul Cook has the final say to critics

Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jack Whatmough has started every game this season. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Even when you are unbeaten, you still get the odd moan – just ask Paul Cook.

One frustrated fan vented his feelings as Bristol Rovers netted their second-half equaliser and the Blues boss happened to hear it.

Cook explained: ‘It was great to see that sort of performance and that’s the way we try to play the game.

‘I’m sure our supporters enjoyed it as well and, hopefully, they will back that when things are not going so well.

‘It’s good of them to clap us when we are playing well but there were one or two shouts behind me when they equalised.

‘I don’t mind but sometimes, you’ve got to be patient as a supporter.

‘So I turned around and told him “we will keep going”.

‘Listen, sooner or later, we will get beaten and they will be right and I will be wrong.

‘And if you are a supporter and you pay your money, you are fully entitled to your opinion.

‘They travel in fantastic numbers and they are a credit to this club.

‘In my opinion, I am quite lucky because I am getting to manage the club at the right time.

‘Our club is geared for success now – whether that is Paul Cook or someone else.

‘So our supporters will get the success they deserve.

‘We are under the microscope at Portsmouth because we are such a big club but the lads are doing well and long may it continue.’

Although it’s been an unbeaten start to the campaign, Cook was honest enough to admit his team had not yet fully fired.

But he was far more satisfied with the level of performance this time around.

He said: ‘A lot of the talk before the game was that we turned up.

‘I felt we didn’t do that in the first half last week at Oxford.

‘I don’t mind getting beaten but we have to turn up. I felt we definitely turned up in this one.

‘If you look at it lately, we have been littered with bad wins.

‘We have mugged our way to a result or two.

‘If someone was against us, they would probably say we have been getting lucky but we never got lucky in this game.

‘We played really well and we were excellent value for the three points.’

Cook was also quick to praise his troops who came into the side – with Adam Barton and Danny Hollands forming a new central midfield partnership.

He said: ‘I thought Adam and Danny were excellent. I thought Aaron McCarey came in and did really well.

‘And Jayden Stockley put in a really good performance when Adam got injured in the warm-up.

‘I was just about to take Jayden off when he scored, so I’m glad I didn’t!

‘But I think it shows we have got a lot of quality players here.’

Cook also felt Conor Chaplin’s yellow card for diving was merited.

He said: ‘I thought it was a dive but it’s a learning curve for Conor and everyone else.

‘I haven’t spoken to him about it yet but I will have a look at that one.

‘Overall, we scored two good goals and got in other great situations where we should have scored.

‘We are pleased but now it’s on to Exeter on Tuesday night.’