Cook’s men offer future insight

Triallist Frank van der Struijk was in the starting line-up for Pompey last night   Picture: Joe Pepler
Triallist Frank van der Struijk was in the starting line-up for Pompey last night Picture: Joe Pepler
Milan Lalkovic in pre-season action against the Hawks

Pompey winger set for return against Walsall

  • Pompey boss delighted with win over League One side
  • Evans goal typical of how Cook wants to play
  • But manager warns new style won’t happen overnight
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PAUL COOK believes Pompey fans have been offered a glimpse of the way forward for their team.

But the Blues boss warned supporters there is no ‘magic formula’ and impressing his passing principles on his side will not happen overnight.

When you our a passing team everyone expects to turn up and see a new magic formula. It doesn’t work like that.

Paul Cook

Pompey shone in their 2-1 success over Coventry last night at Westleigh Park, as goals from Conor Chaplin and Gareth Evans earned the win.

It was the manner in which the side went about their business which caught the eyes of supporters, though.

Pompey played the ball out from the back at every opportunity, maintained good possession and saw their attacking players make a mark.

Despite the match being the team’s third in five days, Cook’s side also showed good energy and a determination to press and win the ball high up the pitch.

Evans’ goal on the stroke of half-time saw the side break quickly with a perfectly-timed pass from Chaplin freeing the 27-year-old to emphatically finish.

Cook felt that moment encapsulated how he is trying to get Pompey to play.

But the Scouser isn’t getting carried away and knows it will take time to get his side working how he wants.

Cook said: ‘The fundamentals were all there.

‘I think our second goal was the perfect example of how we like the game to be played. The supporters will see what we’re trying to do.

‘It’s a tough thing to come in as a manager and implement a million changes at once.

‘The biggest thing is to have an appetite for the game – and we had that.

‘Any team we put out must have an appetite for the game.

‘When you are a passing team everyone expects to turn up and see a new magic formula. It doesn’t work like that.’

Pompey’s starting 11 put them two goals up in the first half before a fine George Thomas finish reduced the arrears after 53 minutes.

Then the usual mass of substitutes slowed the pace of the game in the second half.

Cook was pleased with the overall tempo of the fixture, however.

He said: ‘I thought all the lads who started the game were excellent and the subs came on and gave us kicks at the right time.

‘It’s a pleasing night when you beat a team as strong as Coventry with good players.

‘It’s only pre-season, there’s a lot of work to do but we are pleased so far.

‘It was a good test and we knew we’d get that.

‘It was a proper game with a few tackles flying in, too.

‘Against Bognor and Gosport, they are games we are expected to win.

‘We were playing strong opposition in Coventry, we maybe expected to get beat but there was quality from us and we were excellent.’