Cook pinpoints key to Pompey’s success

Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Luke McGee in action against Southend. Picture: Joe Pepler

Why McGee was crucial to Pompey triumph

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Paul Cook pinpointed fitness as the telling factor in Pompey’s continuing promotion drive.

The Blues boss believes the work ethic of his team is paying off as they dismissed Yeovil Town at Fratton Park.

A 3-1 win made it six wins out of seven for Cook’s men, as they hit their best form at a crucial time of the campaign.

Two goals in the final 22 minutes made the difference against the Glovers, after Pompey were rocked by Enda Stevens’ unfortunate 51st-minute own goal.

Cook was impressed with his team’s response to the equaliser, after they appeared to be comfortably in control of proceedings.

And the 50-year-old felt his team’s stamina was a big factor in them being able to put the game to bed in the second half.

Cook said: ‘Everyone says they’re going to be the fittest team in the league.

‘But you can only train and be as fit as you can be.

‘We pride ourselves on our fitness levels.

‘I do feel it’s been a factor in the recent form.’

Cook believes it was Pompey’s work-rate which provided the platform for their quality to tell as they closed the game out against Darren Way’s side.

That gave the opportunity for their quality to take over, as Kal Naismith and Jamal Lowe got the goals which made the difference, after Gareth Evans’ opener.

Cook added: ‘You can see the calmness in the lads’ passing when the score was 1-1. We want to work teams.

‘The latter stages in games is the best time for us to win games.

‘That’s because we believe in our fitness.

‘We don’t want to be disrespectful to anyone else but we feel we have players who will eventually open the door.’