Pompey boss: Our players are better than this

Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Frustrated Paul Cook is convinced there is still plenty more to come from his underachieving side.

The Blues’ promotion progress received another blow when they drew 1-1 at Mansfield on Saturday.

Not only was a Field Mill point a disappointment at a time when rivals are building momentum, but the manner of how it was achieved was a concern.

It was another below-par Blues showing, following on from a dismal home defeat to Newport County.

The League Two table shows they are now five points off in-form Bristol Rovers in third spot with nine matches to go.

Yet Cook was furious with another inconsistent display from players he knows can produce so much more.

He said: ‘Very disappointed with the game, very disappointed with how we played in general but that is where this team is at.

‘Anybody who has watched us this season can probably say it is a typical Portsmouth performance.

‘We never played well, we just have this ability at the minute to not keep clean sheets and not create chances, which normally makes you not a very good team.

‘But I know in that dressing room there is a lot more to those players.

‘Unfortunately since Accrington when we hit a major high we have not hit those highs and got anywhere near it – and that is the disappointment for us all.

‘We are so disappointed with how we are playing, we never created chances in the second-half. I thought we would go on and win that game comfortably.

‘We must give Mansfield a little bit of credit I suppose, but that is not us, we have got to be better than that.’

Pompey’s next outing is a Fratton Park clash with Notts County on Good Friday.

The Magpies sacked Jamie Fullarton following Saturday’s 4-1 home defeat to Exeter.

Appointed in January, it was only his 12th match in charge.

And the 19th-placed side have moved swiftly to appoint Mark Cooper.

The Blues follow that fixture with a trip to AFC Wimbledon on Bank Holiday Monday, a setting which has yielded two demoralising defeats in recent times.

Still, firstly Cook’s side must negotiate Notts County in their attempts to get a spluttering promotion push back on track.

Pompey’s boss added: ‘We have to bounce back, it’s a big weekend next weekend.

‘Fratton Park will be packed and we have got to make our fans believe in us.

‘That will be on the back of a big, strong performance against Notts County.’

– NEIL ALLEN