Comment: Pompey away struggles continue

Pompey boss Paul Cook   Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Brett Pitman. Picture: Joe Pepler

Posh manager wary of Pompey striker’s threat

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Paul Cook served up a video premier at Pompey’s training ground this week.

It was an impromptu showing to a select few of the local press corps in the wake of Saturday’s emphatic win over Barnet.

It arrived in response to questions about the desire of his men to support Conor Chaplin being key to the 5-1 scoreline.

Countless examples were then reeled off by the Blues boss to back up the point.

It was a revealing and fascinating insight as Gary Neville and Sky Sports’ video analysis was put to shame.

But it’s a fair chance he’ll have a job to find as many examples of players busting a gut to get in the box, as he and his coaching staff pick the bones out of their latest away defeat today.

It’s an issue Cook returned to as he faced up to the press with sweat gleaming from head, in the wake of another frustrating night on the road.

The Scouser then forwarded the view all Pompey eyes on the game would take away a variety of reasons for the loss.

And these ones saw the issues lying on the back foot and not the front in the sparsely-populated confines of Bloomfield Road.

Blackpool looked a side with confidence brittle enough to break at any time, as Cook’s men set about them in the first 20 minutes.

Then, however, came the first of three gifts which proved key to away stats now reading one win from seven.

Pompey vulnerability from set-pieces again surfaced as Kelvin Mellor headed home in front of David Forde’s attempted punch.

‘We’re tired of being good,’ said Cook, with admirable restraint.

It appeared a reference to his side managing to make themselves vulnerable from a position of early control.

Well, after Chaplin’s wondrous overhead kick, they managed to do that again after recovering a foothold.

And this time it was unnecessary individual errors which were to prove costly.

Danny Rose received the criticism for the second for losing the ball, but Tom Davies’ decision to not opt for the robust option and play his team-mate into trouble was the catalyst for it.

And it was Davies, whose rugged approach has impressed in five consecutive league starts, who was caught napping for the killer third.

‘It’s all about desire,’ added Cook, as he just about kept his cool in the immediate aftermath of defeat.

As much as that hunger to attack was celebrated on Saturday, it was the lack of desire to defend with no half measures which means the away struggles continue.

– JORDAN CROSS