Cook: I will make changes when time is right

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Paul Cook has insisted he is prepared to change his Pompey philosophy – when the time is right to do so.

The Blues boss has built his side around a 4-2-3-1 possession-based system, keen to dominate the ball and carve open opponents.

It is a tried-and-tested method for Cook – and the way his former side Chesterfield won League Two two years ago.

And with Pompey firmly in the promotion shake-up, it is a way of play Cook is unlikely to abandon in a hurry.

His preferred formation is not without its limitations, with a number of fans keen to see two strikers on the pitch together – particularly in home games.

The Blues boss, though, has stressed to supporters he is not set in his ways – simply believing his chosen style to be the most effective in delivering sought-after wins.

Cook said: ‘I will change things when I feel we have to to win games – I want to get this message across.

‘What we do is we analyse the oppositon, we analyse everything.

‘And if you look at the chances we create, still people want to debate one or two upfront.

‘It think in the country we must be one of the leading creators.

‘But we are prepared to adapt – we want to evolve.

‘For example, on Tuesday night (Pompey won 3-1 at Luton) – both managers took to the pitch believing their team would win by playing their style of play.

‘Do you think Luton would change if they were playing us again tomorrow? I do.’

Later on in the season, Cook feels tactics and systems may be taken out of his hands by other factors.

He added: ‘Once pitches deteriorate, we will look at adapting.

‘We want to win as much as the next man.

‘And to win, sometimes you have to be clever and you have to be cute.

‘When I feel our brand of football would not be conducive to being played on some pitches, we won’t try to play the football we play.

‘The biggest factor is winning the game.’

– JEFF MARSHMAN

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