Cook: Let’s energise fortress Fratton again

Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler

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Pompey’s players have been challenged to energise a vibrant Fratton Park again.

Paul Cook wants his players to generate the feel-good factor currently felt at home yet again for the visit of high-flying Doncaster Rovers.

Cook’s side are aiming to extend their unbeaten home record against their promotion rivals as they arrive in town tomorrow.

The Blues are looking to make it five wins on the bounce, with fortress Fratton returning.

Cook has detected a more serene air on his side’s patch – something he felt hasn’t always been the case.

He feels the challenge for his players is getting the atmosphere crackling once again.

Cook said: ‘We are concentrating on Doncaster now and winning that game.

‘It’s a good game and Fratton Park has been a really enjoyable place to be in the past couple of games.

‘I think the whole atmosphere has been excellent.

‘When you went to the game against Colchester, you could sense the tension. You could feel it.

‘It probably didn’t help having a young kid tell me we’d best win the game. He was about eight! So that didn’t help my mood!

‘But going into the game now you feel that bit of calmness. It doesn’t mean we are going to get a result, because we have to be at it.

‘But the whole atmosphere around the ground comes off the back of what people are doing on the pitch.

‘That’s where you get that energy. Our fans feel good by what they see. You enjoy it.

‘We’re playing well, getting into positions, there’s energy and we’re bright.

‘We’re playing well in different ways. Everything you speak good of us at home is what is bad about us away. We need to stay on that now.

‘We’re showing real signs of what we want us to be, which is effective, playing with energy, lots of chances and attempts on goal.’

Pompey’s home form is thriving at present, but they are still looking to bounce back from the midweek disappointment at Blackpool.

Cook has been agonising over the reasons for their struggles on the road, but knows that frustration now has to be parked as the focus turns to the positives in his side’s play.

He said: ‘It hurts the players. All of a sudden you think you can turn up and win a game.

‘It must be like a boxer when you get knocked out.

‘You wake up in the dressing room thinking what happened? That’s a bit like our performances.

‘At home the patterns are good, open games, irrespective of what the opposition do.

‘There’s been goals, entertainment and red cards. Our season-ticket holders will be happy.

‘Away from home we’re not giving our fans anything. We’re devoid of energy.

‘I see that oomph at home. I don’t see it away – but I do at home.’