Cook: Perfect Pompey response to ‘horrendous’ few weeks for all of us

Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey midfielder will relish facing former club

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PAUL COOK spoke of his pride at how Pompey put a ‘horrendous’ past fortnight behind them with victory at Grimsby Town.

The Blues got their League Two promotion bid back on track thanks to a 1-0 win at Blundell Park.

It was the perfect response to the 2-1 home loss to Stevenage on November 26, a match which saw captain Michael Doyle and Christian Burgess dragged off at half-time after becoming embroiled in a dressing-room brawl.

Cook admitted the fall-out from that match had been tough on everyone at the club, making Saturday’s success all the more sweeter.

He said: ‘It was horrendous. I’m delighted and proud of the players because at this club you move on quickly and you can’t look back.

‘We got terrible abuse but that’s football and managing big clubs today. And we are a big club. I’ll never hide from that.

‘Managing this club is tough. That’s the way it is. It’s tough for me, my family, my children, my parents who follow us – everyone. Tough for the chairman, tough for our fans.

‘All of a sudden, though, this win was a marker that we’re doing okay and we have got character.’

With more than 1,000 Pompey fans playing their part to create a lively atmosphere at Blundell Park, Cook was delighted to send them back to the south coast smiling.

The Blues boss added: ‘It was a good game, played in front of a great crowd but I felt we were the better team.

‘Our lads stood up to a man and I’m chuffed for our supporters.

‘It means a lot to us all. This is Portsmouth Football Club – it’s going to be here forever. It’s people’s lives and if we don’t feel that then there is a big problem.’