Pompey 0 AFC Wimbledon 0: Cook airs possession concern

Paul Cook speaks to Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook speaks to Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey lost Saturday's trip to Oxford 3-0

Pompey Talk: Reflection on ‘disappointing’ defeat

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Paul Cook aired his possession worries as Pompey stuttered against AFC Wimbledon.

The Blues again failed to fire on all cylinders as they were held to a 0-0 draw by the Dons yesterday.

Wimbledon had far too much of the ball for me.

Paul Cook

Cook implemented a change of formation as he ditched his preferred 4-2-3-1 set-up for a 4-4-2 formation.

That was in response to a clamour from fans to go with two forwards after two home wins in the league this season.

Pompey has just one shot on target over 90 minutes against Neal Ardley’s side, however, and three shots in total.

But, worryingly for Cook, the visitors also had more of the ball with 52 per cent possession.

That hasn’t happened so far this season, with Cook believing that was a consequence of the formation change.

He said: ‘Wimbledon had far too much of the ball for me.

‘I prefer us to dominate in that area.

‘Was that because of the formation? Maybe people are starting to realise that now!

‘We huffed and puffed, but these could be massive points at the end of the season, because we have time to grow and get better.

‘I felt it was important we didn’t lose.

‘I think every game will offer different opportunities.

‘At the minute we play a style of football which will hopefully see us home.’

Cook feels the home form this season has underlined that his team are still a work in progress after being assembled in the summer.

Cook said: ‘In recent seasons we’ve seen lows. That’s not a criticism, that’s the reality of it.

‘I don’t think we put enough emphasis on how the team was put together in the summer.

‘I do feel we are now at a point with the squad where we’ve seen the players and we know who’s good, who’s bad and what we want.

‘It’s there for all to see.’

Cook noted there were plenty of errors from his players as they failed to pick up the three points.

But he also noted that is part of the education for the younger players he has at his disposal.

He feels they will learn from their errors and there is still a lot of time for them to put their mistakes right this season.

Cook said: ‘These are young players and there are some mistakes.

‘They made mistakes and you could leave one or two out. But, unless you come through these tests, how will they learn?

‘The club is stable and there is a team the players can be proud of. There’s a long way to go yet.’

– JORDAN CROSS