Cook: Fans should not single Pompey players out for criticism

Pompey winger Kyle Bennett     Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey winger Kyle Bennett Picture: Joe Pepler
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 1 Southend 0: They said what

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Paul Cook has called on Pompey fans to avoid singling out players for criticism.

The likes of Kyle Bennett and Michael Smith have come in for flak from sections of the Fratton faithful this season.

Fans have aired their frustrations over Smith after an indifferent start to the campaign following his arrival from Swindon.

And a sprinkling of boos greeted Bennett’s weekend introduction off the bench against Barnet.

Cook feels any criticism for the players is unjustified, with the pair totally committed to the Pompey cause.

On Tuesday night, the Blues served up a disappointing display at Blackpool – with Smith and Bennett introduced late on.

Cook feels that highlights the highs and lows are reached collectively.

He said: ‘The good thing for the likes of Kyle Bennett and Michael Smith and others is people shouldn’t single players out.

‘We have the Blackpool performance in us as a club so let’s not single others out, let’s look to be better.

‘It is not down to single people, it is down to us as a group and we should all take the criticism.’

Pompey return to home comforts against fancied rivals Doncaster Rovers this weekend.

They will be looking to show the better side of their ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ form there.

Cook was the first to acknowledge how varied his side’s displays are at present but he is satisfied with their fourth-placed early-season berth in the table.

He said: ‘We’ve won five of our last seven games and we’re fourth in the table. We’ll take that.

‘We are Jekyll & Hyde. Away from home we don’t look like a side who’ll challenge for promotion. At home we look a side who’ll win the league.’

– JORDAN CROSS