Orient win one of Cook’s biggest for Pompey

Pompey goal-hero Christian Burgess, centre, with Matt Clarke, left, and Milan Lalkovic. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey goal-hero Christian Burgess, centre, with Matt Clarke, left, and Milan Lalkovic. Picture: Joe Pepler

Christian Burgess. Picture: Joe Pepler

Defender’s Pompey League One promotion promise

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PAUL COOK branded victory over Leyton Orient one of his most important Pompey wins.

The Blues returned to winning ways with a 1-0 success at Brisbane Road on Saturday.

Christian Burgess got the decisive goal in the second half to get Cook’s side back to winning ways after two league defeats.

It also saw Pompey pick up just their second win on the road this term in all competitions.

Victory lifted them to fourth in a League Two table, as it begins to take shape 12 games in.

Defeat would have seen them fall 11 points behind leaders Plymouth, who continue to set an impressive pace.

Cook felt it was crucial for both him and his side that wasn’t the case, even at a relatively early stage of the campaign.

He said: ‘This was a big game for me as manager of Portsmouth Football Club.

‘I showed my trust in my players and, to a man, they gave me everything.

‘But if we want to keep pace with sides we had to get a result.

‘We feel we are a good team in this league, but we need to be staying around that top five or higher.

‘If we were to lose to Orient it would have just brought that little bit of added pressure.

‘We don’t want to lose pace with the pacesetters.’

Cook made it clear the importance of the Orient success was not related to his position as Pompey boss.

He remains comfortable with the support he’s receiving from the board and the challenge he faces to get his team promoted.

Cook said: ‘I’m not talking about sackings or anything like that. I’m not fearing that at all.

‘I’m dead lucky. I have a fantastic chairman, board and chief executive who back me.

‘If one day that wasn’t deemed enough I’d be back down supporting Portsmouth and wanting the next man to be successful.

‘When you are Portsmouth in this league with 16 and 17,000 watching everything is times 10 for us.

‘That’s just the way. It’s a different type of pressure which takes over your life.

‘You have to try to distance yourself from it.

‘I really enjoy living in Portsmouth. I’m at a great club and I love being here.

‘If one day it doesn’t work we’ll deal with it like gentlemen.’

Pompey now face a mouth-watering trip to leaders Plymouth next weekend.

The challenge is to ensure the team who knocked Cook’s side out of the play-offs last term don’t open up more ground on them

Cook said: ‘This week we worked hard in training, really hard, on how we want to play.

‘We imposed ourselves on Orient. That’s what we want and that’s what we’ll be trying to do at Home Park.’

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