Pompey fans have Cook in awe

Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Joe Hancott in action for Pompey Reserves against Southend. Picture: Colin Farmery

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PAUL COOK thanked Pompey fans for lifting him out of his despair.

And the Blues boss admitted he feels a debt to his side’s followers for their unconditional backing.

Cook explained last weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Stevenage left him at a low ebb.

But the relentless support in the face of defeat at the Lamex Stadium roused him from his disappointment.

That kind of backing has been a recurring feature since victory at Crawley earlier this month.

And Cook has no doubt about the impact that kind of unequivocal following can have.

He said: ‘It was unbelievable. To say I wasn’t in a good mood was an understatement.

‘You can get so frustrated as a manager, but to see your supporters conduct themselves like that makes you very proud.

‘That support’s unconditional. That’s how I thought it would be when I arrived here.

‘I think there has been a lot of frustration at various stages. But when Pompey fans get tested, and last Saturday was a test, they come through it with flying colours.

‘The support we’ve had in recent games! It’s been since the Crewe game, let’s have it right.

‘As a manager I thought the reaction was over the top. That’s my opinion. I’m allowed to feel that. The reaction since has been nothing short of fantastic.

‘It’s been there since Crawley. We’re on our way.

‘The Colchester game was a fantastic day for us.

‘To take travelling support like that and win well was fantastic, before Grimsby.

‘It does touch you as a manager because it’s unbelievable support to get.

‘You’re at your lowest point in those moments – and that lifts you.

‘You then have to give those people what they want.

‘Supporters will never know how that makes a manager beholden to them to have that.

‘That’s what I believe Portsmouth supporters to be about.’

Pompey can cement their place in the top three by bouncing back with victory against Newport County today.

Cook highlighted there is little time to linger, with each game’s significance mounting as the season reaches fever pitch.

He added: ‘Stevenage deserve no praise taken away from them. We got battered. Okay, move on.

‘I would imagine we would have made different decisions if others were available.

‘There’s no time to reflect, though. No-one has won anything. No-one has achieved anything.

‘We’ve got eight games to go and there’s probably 22 teams who’d swap with us.

‘We will enjoy it. There’s no fear. We don’t fear failure.

‘We never have and never will because we have a chance to do something about it.

‘If our best isn’t good enough, that’s us.’