Pompey boss sets sights on Saints

Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey keeper Luke McGee. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South

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Paul Cook is targeting a glamour third-round FA Cup tie with Southampton after seeing Pompey drawn at home to Wycombe in the first round.

The Blues boss admitted Monday night’s draw was a disappointing one for his side, lacking the imagination of a trip to a non-league outfit.

But with home advantage over the Chairboys – a team Pompey beat 4-2 at Fratton Park in League Two only last month, Cook is hopeful his side can navigate a path to a potential mouthwatering clash with Premier League opposition.

He said: ‘Our league campaign is our bread and butter and nothing will detract from that.

‘But this is a competition we are going to take seriously – we can tell people that.

‘And for me it is all about getting to the third round.

‘We want to get there and get a great tie for our fans.

‘I would like to get our supporters that really glamorous tie so we can all have a great day and we go and give it a go.

‘I like the big games. As a 
manager I love big games – I don’t mind playing Southampton or Everton.

‘I would love a big game in the Cup.

‘I have no fear in that – our fans need that.’

To do so, though, the Blues will need to get the better of a tough Wycombe side and whoever potentially lies in wait in the second round.

Cook, though, conceded it was a draw that failed to capture his imagination.

He added: ‘I like the FA Cup for what it is.

‘Us playing Wycombe I don’t think is a great draw for both of us – I don’t think Gareth (Ainsworth) will be overly happy with it either.

‘It is a tough tie for us because Wycombe are a very strong side.

‘I would have liked to have played a non-league side.

‘I would have liked Eastbourne Borough away or Eastleigh – just for the whole Cup feeling.

‘I think that would have been good for the area.

‘Unfortunately we never got it and we have just got to get on with it.’

– JEFF MARSHMAN