Cook: I considered Pompey changes

Pompey boss Paul Cook     Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 1 Southend 0: They said what

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Paul Cook revealed he had agonised over team changes in the build-up to the disappointing defeat to Doncaster.

For the second successive match, the Blues’ display was unrecognisable from the side which hammered Barnet 5-1.

I am not a great believer in chopping and changing, genuinely, I don’t mind saying that

Paul Cook

An awful showing at Blackpool in the week from the same XI prompted the Pompey boss to recall Matt Clarke for Tom Davies on Saturday.

With that sole change, the Blues once more failed to perform as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Rovers in which they were defensively poor.

It meant a first loss of the campaign at Fratton Park as they slipped to sixth in League Two.

And a frustrated Cook was left to reflect on contrasting team displays.

He said: ‘The players looked so good last week.

‘Team changes was something I looked at as a manager – shall we change, shall we not change?

‘I am not a great believer in chopping and changing, genuinely, I don’t mind saying that.

‘Matt Clarke was brought in just to give us balance, I feel when Christian goes in on that side (the left) he is never comfortable.

‘Matt has played a number of games, although Tom (Davies) has done absolutely nothing wrong, these lads have done smashing.

‘Last year Adam Webster never started the first 12 league games and came in. We’ve got a good squad, getting people minutes on the pitch is huge

‘On Saturday it possibly looked like Conor (Chaplin) had played three games in a week for the first time.

‘It’s not a criticism of him, he is fantastic, you leave him on for that bit longer because you know he will get you a goal.

‘These are the little decisions you have to make.’

– NEIL ALLEN