Cook: Pompey don’t need prolific marksman

Gary Roberts, left, and Conor Chaplin lead Pompey's scoring charts this season with seven goals apiece    Picture: Barry Zee

Gary Roberts, left, and Conor Chaplin lead Pompey's scoring charts this season with seven goals apiece Picture: Barry Zee

Michael Eisner

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Paul Cook has played down the need for a prolific marksman in Pompey’s League Two promotion quest.

The Blues boss faced questions at a supporters’ club meeting on Monday night as to the absence of a 25-goal-a-season striker under his management.

Cook, though, remains steadfast in his conviction that one predatory poacher does not define the success of a team – with the onus on his side to share the goals around.

Following today’s postponed trip to Crawley Town, owing to a frozen pitch, teenage talent Conor Chaplin – with seven – tops the club’s scoring charts alongside playmaker Gary Roberts.

Blues strikers Michael Smith, Curtis Main and midfielder Carl Baker have six goals apiece.

Cook, though, pointed at the lack of success achieved with regular goal-getter Matt Tubbs in the side two seasons ago as reason for why Pompey don’t want to rely on one man to put the ball in the net.

Speaking before today’s postponement, he said: ‘It’s like the debate we had on Monday night at a supporters’ club meeting: “Why haven’t we got a 25-goal a season striker?

‘We did have – Matt Tubbs.

‘We finished 16th in the league with the leading scorer!

‘The argument doesn’t stand up – if I play Conor Chaplin every week, is that a 25-goal-a-season striker?

‘Within our group we feel we have the ability to do whatever we want.

‘But just having someone who scores 25 goals doesn’t mean you will be successful – that’s been proven.’

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