Cook: Pompey showed attacking muscle

Midfielder Danny Rose scores his first Pompey goal in the Blues' 5-1 win against Barnet   Picture: Joe Pepler
Midfielder Danny Rose scores his first Pompey goal in the Blues' 5-1 win against Barnet Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

Evans: Player talk has lifted Pompey form

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Paul Cook saluted the quality of Pompey’s goals as they showcased their potential.

But the Blues boss underlined he and his team are staying grounded as they moved to second in League Two.

Cook’s side put Barnet to the sword as they showcased their killer instinct in Saturday’s 5-1 win.

Conor Chaplin marked his first start of the season with a goal which owed much to the class of Gary Roberts.

All of the goals had much to admire about them, including Danny Rose’s first effort in blue.

Cook said: ‘You see us at our best in certain games.

‘Danny Rose’s goal was some goal. A team goal.

‘The first goal was Chaplin and Roberts at their best.

‘It’s all about combinations.

‘When Smith doesn’t have people running past him he doesn’t look a good player.

‘When Conor does he looks a good player.’

There was a sense of joy engulfing Fratton Park after Saturday’s win.

That was something Cook picked up on and was delighted to see.

But the Pompey boss knows there needs to be a sense of reality about how the season is progressing at this stage.

He said: ‘When you have disappointments the fans need to have good days to see there’s more.

‘When you see good days you then want to get after teams quick.

‘Our fans have had no success for years now. We need to give them success.

‘It was a good day but we just need to move on.

‘I liked us. I didn’t like us at Exeter or Accrington.

‘We should be sat here with five wins and top of the league.

‘What would we all be saying? We’re top of the league and going up?

‘The reality is we’re not. It’s September. We’re doing okay. That’s what the school report says. We just keep going.’

Cook stressed his confidence in his team’s character as they bounced back from defeat at Accrington and Barnet took on Pompey in an open game and came off second best.

He said: ‘If teams park bus they are going to make it difficult. If teams engage in open games, they’ve seen us in open games.

‘Maybe we’ll go 4-4-2 and hit the big man!

‘I’ve never doubted them.

‘If you don’t have character you don’t win games. Our lads don’t lack character.

‘We lack a bit of certain things now and again but when we’re good, we’re very good.

‘I just enjoy us winning well and then move on to the next game. We have to do that again.’

– JORDAN CROSS