Pompey boss: Let’s raise the Fratton roof

Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
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Pompey return to the scene of their Crewe humbling with boss Paul Cook insisting: Let’s all raise the roof.

The Blues will tonight be welcomed back to Fratton Park having stylishly climbed into the automatic promotion spots.

That is why I appeal to the fans that if it’s not going our way, or 0-0, just stay with us, please stay with us. It’s so important these lads get that backing now, they deserve it

Paul Cook

During the space of a week, comfortable victories on the road at Crawley and Colchester have left Cook’s men in a delicious position to depart League Two.

It has been an outstanding reaction to that abject 1-0 defeat to Crewe on their last home outing.

On that occasion, Pompey laboured to one of their worst performances of the season, earning heavy criticism.

Tonight they entertain Grimsby (7.45pm) – with belief and promotion aspirations rejuvenated.

And Cook has called for a special Fratton Park atmosphere to maintain their encouraging progress.

He said: ‘We have got to get the shackles off, Fratton Park is our home, there are six home games left.

‘If I was back in Liverpool and managing Chesterfield, I would be looking at Portsmouth’s run-in thinking “they’re home, they’ve got Fortress Fratton”.

‘That is why I appeal to the fans that if it’s not going our way, or 0-0, just stay with us, please stay with us. It’s so important these lads get that backing now, they deserve it.

‘We have come a long way together, let’s just stay with it now.

‘Let’s make it the atmosphere against Blackpool, the atmosphere against Morecambe, and have another tonight against Grimsby.

‘We’ll take what we can from the last 10 games, and fingers crossed it will be enough for all to be happy.’

The Blues are currently four points clear of fourth spot with 10 matches remaining.

Only Stevenage and Accrington Stanley have accumulated more points during the past six matches, ensuring Cook’s men are presently one of League Two’s in-form sides.

Certainly the Pompey manager cannot comprehend a repeat of their failings against Crewe.

Cook added: ‘The important thing is we turn up. We want to play with energy, we don’t want to play for our fans like we did against Crewe.

‘If you had watched us at Carlisle, Crawley and Colchester, you wouldn’t know where the Crewe performance came from, but it came.

‘Sometimes I just feel this group needs backing through those performances – that is only my opinion, I am not trying to cause any trouble.

‘When we are low that is when we need that help.

‘Certainly in the last six games, we haven’t offered many of those performances. I would go as far as to say we must be one of the in-form teams at the minute.

‘We openly hold our hands up to the bad performances, we don’t hide, we were poor against Crewe.

‘Yet the same lads turned up Tuesday and Saturday.’