Paul Cook proud of Pompey display

Graham Salisbury. Picture: Barry Zee

Oxford United v Pompey: referee watch

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Paul Cook spoke of his Pompey pride after running Reading close in the Capital One Cup.

It took a Garath McCleary goal six minutes from full-time to give the Championship side victory at Fratton Park tonight.

Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues had earlier led through Conor Chaplin’s stunning first-half strike, until Nick Blackman levelled on 64 minutes.

Yet with extra-time looming, McCleary netted at the far post to give the visitors a hard-fought victory in front of a crowd of 18,190.

And Cook, tasting defeat for the first time as Blues boss, was delighted with his team’s contribution.

He said: ‘Great credit to Reading for beating us, well done, we wish them well in the next round and credit to our lads as well for coming through a really tough tie with flying colours.

‘We’ve got so many, you could be here all night naming them, your Websters, Closes, while Danny Hollands was magnificent.

‘So in the end it just shows the depth of squad we have got and that is what pleases me.

‘I think the biggest pleasing thing for me was the reaction of the Portsmouth people and the crowd tonight, it speaks volumes.

‘To get a standing ovation at the end of any game means you have worked hard enough to have earned it – and tonight they earned it.’