Cook: We will stick by our playing principles

Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Nicke Kabamba. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey loan watch – weekend report

  • Pompey enjoyed 64 per cent possession in comfortable win over Daggers
  • First opening day victory for the Blues since August 2006
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PAUL COOK has pledged to stick by his football ‘principles’ as he seeks to instigate a promotion charge out of League Two.

The Blues cantered to a highly-impressive 3-0 victory over Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.

Kyle Bennett scored twice in Pompey's impressive opening to the season Picture: Joe Pepler

Kyle Bennett scored twice in Pompey's impressive opening to the season Picture: Joe Pepler

Yet they had to be patient before their supreme dominance was made to count.

Despite controlling the league opener, it wasn’t until the 51st minute when the deadlock was broken by a Gareth Evans header.

Kyle Bennett than grabbed a double as Pompey’s campaign got off to an encouraging start.

Certainly, the Fratton faithful were left delighted with not only the scoreline but the manner it was achieved by Cook’s new-look side.

We will make mistakes, we will concede goals, we will do all the things teams do wrong, but at the end of the season when you add your points up that is the most important thing

Paul Cook

And Pompey’s boss has vowed to keep on playing football in the challenge for success.

He said: ‘I thought we were very much in control of the game.

‘There were always going to be breakaways from Dagenham, but we have got quality on the pitch and you expect your quality players to turn up and they are the people who define moments in the game.

‘If we don’t get the goals fans can get frustrated about not having two up front and physicality, etc.

‘But I have been around football long enough to know that I’ll stick to my principles.

‘I have the option to go two up front but I don’t because I believe that (the 4-2-3-1) is the correct style of play.

‘It was a good win, a solid win, it was like watching a team that had been together for a bit playing.

‘I actually think we can be so much brighter in possession. That comes with time, it doesn’t just happen overnight.

‘I don’t think our players will get intimidated because the supporters believe we are going to be pass and play.

‘We will make mistakes, we will concede goals, we will do all the things teams do wrong, but at the end of the season when you add your points up that is the most important thing.

‘And I believe we will have a lot of points.’

Having established an unbeaten pre-season schedule, the Blues have headed into the season with a semblance of form.

And expectations of a successful 2015-16 campaign have remained high since the appointment of Cook as manager and his subsequent player recruitment.

Not that Pompey’s players appeared to be affected as they produced an eye-catching display over the Daggers.

‘It was a perfect day for any manager to come to Fratton Park. You feel it, you feel that expectancy and anyone that says they don’t would be lying,’ said Cook.

‘That expectancy comes to the manager and the players, and on Saturday I didn’t even want them to warm up too strongly.

‘I felt the momentum of the crowd would get them up and that certainly was the case in the second half.

‘Pre-season is all about what happened on Saturday, it is that simple for me – all the games against your Havants, your Bognors and places like that.

‘It was all about Saturday and it could not have gone any better, not for Paul Cook but for Portsmouth Football Club.’