Pompey 0 Yeovil 0: Paul Cook plans to tinker Blues system

Paul Cook. Picture Joe Pepler
Paul Cook. Picture Joe Pepler
Samantha Quayle. Picture: Jordan Hampton

Flying start for Pompey with Cardiff swept aside

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Paul Cook admits he will tinker with his Pompey system to develop the right formula.

The Blues boss cut a frustrated figure at Fratton Park in his post-match media duties after his side had come up against another defensive wall.

Cook started the match with his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation but then switched it at half-time, replacing Gareth Evans with Jayden Stockley who partnered Matt Tubbs up front in a 4-4-2 system.

And while Pompey looked more threatening and dominated possession, they were still unable to unlock the Yeovil defence.

Cook said: ‘It’s nothing to do with tactics and formations when teams get everyone behind the ball.

‘It’s irrelevant what formation we play.

‘The likelihood is that you get to the halfway line with the ball and then you come under pressure to break them down.

‘In the first half, we never worked the keeper anywhere near enough for a home team and that is something we need to address.

‘We were flat in the first half – it was more ball retention than creating chances.

‘When we go to a 4-4-2 at the minute, we are not the best at it but we are working away at it.

‘I’m not going to abandon my principles.

‘But I want to make it clear that I want to win like the rest of the Portsmouth fans.

‘I will be tinkering with it, which is quite logical.

‘But, in my opinion, you can’t just keep changing formations all the time.

‘I’m not one for chopping and changing.’

Tubbs was restored to the starting line-up for the first time since the 3-3 draw with Morecambe and looks like a striker in need of a goal.

But Cook was pleased with his contribution, even though he only saw a couple of half-chances come his way.

Cook said: ‘He was smashing. He just needs that goal.

‘He had a couple of flashing headers wide but hasn’t really had many other chances.

‘I went with Tubbsy and I left him on for as long as I could to get that goal.

‘If I’d dragged him off after 60 minutes, what would that do for Matt’s confidence?

‘I’m doing my best to keep everyone confident and I don’t think we did a lot wrong as a team.

‘But we didn’t hurt them enough in the middle third or the final third.’

It’s a stark contrast to previous seasons that Pompey have been more potent on their travels than at Fratton Park so far.

But Cook is prepared to accept some home frustrations along the way, as long as his side stay on course to get out of League Two this season.

He said: ‘If we have to draw at home and win away to get promotion, I’m not bothered.

‘What I’ve got to do is to make sure people stay patient.

‘We’ve got to find a way but it’s not as easy as people think.

‘There were a lot of men behind the ball and we tried our best to put a lot of balls in the box.

‘Sometimes you get a bounce of the ball but it didn’t happen this time.’