Cook praises Pompey faithful’s Adams Park backing

The Pompey players were bitterly disappointed with the result against Wycombe
The Pompey players were bitterly disappointed with the result against Wycombe
Pompey midfielder Danny Rose. Picture: Joe Pepler

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In turn, the Pompey players each glanced left as they emerged from the tunnel for the customary warm down.

The Wycombe supporters had long since drifted away, buoyant over a 1-0 victory to bolster their promotion aspirations.

Yet there remained a sizeable group of fans in Adams Park’s visiting section – and they were continuing to sing long after the final whistle.

Chants of ‘Blue Army’ were among several songs which emanated from the visitors’ end which had previously held 1,800 Pompey fans during the duration of the match.

For Eoin Doyle, it was the first introduction to the Fratton faithful as he couldn’t help to glance round at their vibrant presence more than 30 minutes after the match ended.

Meanwhile, such were the noise levels, Paul Cook had to conduct his post-match address with the media indoors.

Pompey had lost in consecutive matches, they had slipped down to seventh in League Two, while the top-three edged a little further ahead.

But Cook was heartened by the reaction of the travelling Blues fans in response to what he considered a good performance.

He said: ‘Our supporters turned up and if we hadn’t been at it or didn’t play well then there would have been a massive fan reaction.

‘I think the actual reaction of our fans to that performance says a lot.

‘That is what we expect Portsmouth Football Club to be like, not at the end of the game people shouting “It’s time to go, Cook” or “Michael Smith is no good”, that’s not Portsmouth.

‘People who run Pompey do so through a love of the club, they always make the decisions for the fans. We cannot make decisions happen through anger or haste, there have got to be practical decisions.

‘Until I go, in 10 years, six months, three weeks or whenever it is, let’s play like we did on Saturday, let’s stay with it.

‘And I thought the fans’ reaction was the most positive thing about the day.’

Cook does not require reminders over the necessity for promotion this season.

Recruited from Chesterfield in May 2015 to lead the Blues out of the Football League’s bottom division, that favourable outcome has still to occur.

They are currently seven points adrift of third place with a game in hand as the campaign marches towards its finale.

Clearly, promotion is still entirely plausible – although Pompey desperately need to string together a run of League Two victories.

Cook is fully aware of his remit and, with 18 matches remaining this season, remains focused on succeeding.

He added: ‘We’ve had good runs away from home, we’ve had bad runs.

‘On Saturday, right up until the 98th minute, I felt we were the best team.

‘By the time we have played 46 games, if we haven’t gone up I won’t offer excuses and will sit down with my bosses.

‘But I want to stay dead positive now.

‘We have got to stay with it now, everyone around the club must stay focused on being what we are, Portsmouth Football Club.

‘I will go one day and someone else will come in this club, but Pompey are here forever, it’s our club now.’