Cook dismay at revamped Pompey side

Michael Smith. Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Smith. Picture: Joe Pepler
Conor Chaplin could start againsyt Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey v Plymouth: pre-match talking points

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PAUL COOK admitted his disappointment at the Crown Ground contributions of those Pompey players handed ‘opportunities’.

Michael Smith and Kyle Bennett were both recalled to the Blues side for Saturday’s trip to Accrington Stanley.

We want lads to do well and try to give lads confidence, but we learn about our players all the time, don’t we

Paul Cook

The outcome was a 1-0 defeat as the four-match winning streak shuddered to a halt.

From the side which started against Wycombe, Smith replaced the injured Curtis Main as the lone striker, for his first league start in five matches following a poor start to the campaign.

Bennett came in for Milan Lalkovic on the left-hand side of the attacking three, having not made the previous three league squads.

Both struggled to shine on their comebacks – and were not alone in a second league defeat of the campaign.

Overall it was a lacklustre and uninspiring showing from Pompey as barely any player emerged with credit.

Cook said: ‘What disappointments me is when we do make changes at times, a bit like against Colchester, we end up not really functional.

‘We want lads to do well and try to give lads confidence, but we learn about our players all the time, don’t we.

‘Kyle is a good player, he was out of the team and it was an opportunity for him to come in, like it was an opportunity for Michael Smith to come in.

‘For all of these players, when you play for this club there comes a pressure.

‘We are always finding out about our team. You don’t want to find out about your team in a bad way – such as losing – you want to find out about players and personnel all the time.

‘We didn’t create enough chances to win any game.’

– NEIL ALLEN