Cook: Fluent Pompey showed strength against Robins

Gary Roberts on the attack against Bristol City. Picture: Neil Marshall
Gary Roberts on the attack against Bristol City. Picture: Neil Marshall
Brett Huxtable. Picture: Joe Pepler

Walsall v Pompey: referee watch

4
Have your say

PAUL COOK believes Pompey once again demonstrated their strengths during the goalless draw at Bristol City.

Last term the Blues impressed against Championship sides Derby, Reading and Ipswich.

We have no fear playing teams, I don’t fear playing anyone, the problem this year, as we all know, is breaking teams down

Paul Cook

They also shone in the FA Cup during a 2-1 home defeat to Premier League Bournemouth.

On Saturday they had the better of play against Lee Johnson’s ambitious Championship side.

Had it not been for the performance of keeper Richard O’Donnell, the League Two visitors could well have collected a victory in their final pre-season fixture.

And Cook was pleased with how his side once again fared against higher-league opposition.

He said: ‘We are always involved in good games like that, it was probably a shock to people that it was 0-0.

‘There weren’t many chances in the game but if there was we created by fair the more clear cut.

‘It was a good test for us, a good test how we want to play and I think our supporters who travelled will be really pleased how we look.

‘I felt on 80 minutes the game was done in terms of what we wanted out of it, whether we scored or they scored was irrelevant for me, the young lads were brought on for some experience at a stadium like that, which was important.

‘We have no fear playing teams, I don’t fear playing anyone, the problem this year, as we all know, is breaking teams down and we have got to be better at it and work harder at it.

‘I don’t think the problem will be in games such as against Bristol City when they are open.

‘We have a really good group of lads and that team spirit and togetherness is important.’

Saturday’s match also marked a first appearance for David Forde following his loan arrival from Millwall.

The veteran was named in Pompey’s starting line-up, with Alex Bass on the bench and Paul Jones injured.

And Cook is pleased to have the new keeper.

He added: ‘We are delighted to get David Forde, he is a man and everything I wanted our goalkeeper to be.

‘I’m not going to give too many plaudits to build him up, we’ll just get on with the season now.

‘We have spoken enough about what we need to do, the time for us now is to keep our heads down and try to deliver.

‘I think we have a great squad, a great fanbase and it’s a great club – let’s get on with it now.’