Cook’s outlines plan to deliver Pompey home comforts

Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey keeper Luke McGee. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South

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PAUL COOK will change his approach in a bid to deliver Fratton Park success next season.

The Pompey boss is determined to put opponents under the cosh and put an end to indifferent form at home.

Cook’s side picked up more points on their travels than they did on their own patch in the campaign which has just come to an end.

A total of 37 points were collected at Fratton Park compared to a return of 41 points on their travels.

No team in the top seven collected fewer home points than the Blues.

That is a clear indication of why Cook’s men failed to deliver the automatic promotion they craved.

The 49-year-old has made it known he will look at the approach his side deliver moving forward.

That is likely to see a move away from his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation to employing two strikers.

Cook said: ‘You can have a different system home and away. At home, we have to win more games and put teams under more pressure.

‘It will result in us playing different types of formations to get more penetration.

‘When you work so hard on a way to play it’s tough to ask them to change. It’s different to what they expect.

‘People talk about formations. To play a style of football you have to work hard at it if you want it to function.

‘Our style of play has worked really effectively in a lot of games.

‘The problems is in the key games at home, like Yeovil and Stevenage, and one or two others – we haven’t hurt people. We haven’t put them under enough pressure.’

Cook’s passing philosophy is well-established and was quickly impressed upon the squad after his arrival at Pompey last year.

The results of that approach could be seen in the quality of football produced by his players in a strong start.

The Blues lost just one of their first 15 league games but were plagued by inconsistency which proved costly.

The manager explained he felt his preferred way of playing would be enough to get his side of the league.

He promised he won’t change his principles, but knows he has to tinker with Pompey’s approach.

‘At Fratton Park we want the ball in the box for longer – and the Fratton End sucking the ball in,’ said Cook.

‘At times, the passing game probably wasn’t what we actually needed.

‘I always thought it, especially early on, it would be enough to get us over the line.

‘If you look at the form latter season, we had some stronger wins by being a bit more that way.

‘I still want to pass the ball and play. My ethos on the game will never change.

‘But, at Fratton Park, we must get more points. We have to get more points.

‘We must have more players on the pitch in forward positions. These are things we will look at.’