Pompey boss: Let’s move on

Pompey players dejected after the final whistle at Stevenage. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey players dejected after the final whistle at Stevenage. Picture: Joe Pepler

Alex Kiwomya

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Paul Cook has urged Pompey to ‘brush off’ their Lamex Stadium defeat.

And he has challenged his team to swiftly put themselves back on track for automatic promotion.

It is not time to dig people out or moan about results, we’ve had a great week, took so many plaudits

Paul Cook

The Blues were comfortably second best as they suffered a 3-0 defeat at Stevenage on Saturday.

Jack King, Matt Godden and Jobi McAnuff netted in the opening 46 minutes on a miserable day for the below-par visitors.

That was compounded by the 75th-minute sending off of Christian Burgess, while substitute Conor Chaplin had a late penalty saved.

Regardless, Pompey remain in third place – with a four-point cushion and eight fixtures remaining.

And Cook is calling for his team to shrug off the Stevenage hiccup with victory against second-bottom Newport County next weekend.

He said: ‘Last week we were lording it when we beat Colchester having been the better team.

‘On Saturday, for the first time probably this season, the better team on the pitch wasn’t us and great respect to Stevenage for that.

‘They were excellent, no problem. We are all good to lord it up when it is going well and Stevenage thoroughly deserved their victory so we move on.

‘We must brush it off and move on. It was one of those days, you get them.

‘It is not time to dig people out or moan about results, we’ve had a great week, took so many plaudits, then were beaten on Saturday by a better team.

‘We must move on. We are doing great. We have to win next week (Newport) but we are doing great.’

Although failing to match their recent superb displays, Cook’s men still struck the bar twice in the first half.

Gareth Evans lashed Enda Stevens’ left-wing cross against the woodwork after only five minutes.

And Carl Baker’s free-kick later struck the bar and then the back of keeper Chris Day before bouncing to safety.

In addition, Chaplin missed a penalty in the 87th minute when he chipped his kick straight into the arms of Day.

Despite such opportunities, they can have no complaints of the outcome against an impressive Borough side.

Now Darren Sarll’s team sit in fourth spot – four points adrift of the team they beat on Saturday.

Cook added: ‘Unfortunately we hit the bar early on and then Carl Baker also struck the bar and the ball hit the keeper and bounced out.

‘We also missed a pen, it wasn’t our day.

‘I have no issues with that, Stevenage were a better side and in my opinion thoroughly deserved their win.’

Chaplin’s miss represented a seventh failure from the penalty spot this season – and a second for him.

Meanwhile, Christian Burgess must serve a one-match ban following his dismissal.

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