Teenage Kicks: Change of approach is wise move by Pompey boss

Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Dion Donohue. Picture: Colin Farmery

New boy’s bitter-sweet Pompey experience

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The whole club seemed to feel a large sense of relief after getting the first three points on the board.

A feeling the season starts now, now is the time to start a run and gain momentum.

Judging from his post-match interviews, Paul Cook sounded the most relieved of all after the 2-0 defeat of Colchester United at Fratton Park last Saturday.

He’s previously admitted his emotions are raw and unshielded in post-match press conferences, which made last weekend’s all the more believable.

Both what he was saying and how he was saying it, were in my opinion telling.

It sounded like a man who was tired and relenting.

It sounded to me like someone who has felt the pressure that comes from managing Pompey in League Two.

And even then, managing Pompey in general.

Throughout our history it’s seems to be strong characters that succeed at our club.

Most recently Harry Redknapp, of course.

And although it was before my existence, I’m sure the likes of Jim Smith and Alan Ball would also fall into that category.

I’m am not doubting Cook’s character one bit.

In fact, I think he’s a big character but even then, this is his first experience of managing a club the size of Pompey.

A sign of a good manager, in my opinion is pragmatism.

And I hope that is what we are about to see with Cook.

He said after the Colchester game ‘the fans were right’ and that’s he’s going to play two strikers at home.

I’m glad the Blues manager has realised that falling on your own footballing sword is not always the correct thing to do.

We need to break down and blitz these anti-footballing sides if we want to earn a comfortable spot in the top three.

I hope we might see a more physical, ruthless side to Pompey in future home games – dare I say play the opposition at their own game.

I have no doubt if Cook is Pompey boss for a long time – like I expect him to be – then 4-2-3-1 will be his formation.

But he knows this club needs promotion soon.

Despite this, I am delighted at the job Cook has done so far at Pompey.

And I think we all need to thank him for his commitment to our football club.

He has embraced the culture, he has endeared to the fans and he has brought progress on the pitch.

At times it does feel like a battle between him and the fans.

And if I have one criticism of him, it is he listens too much to a noisy minority of Pompey fans.

I’m convinced some Blues supporters won’t be happy until either Neil Warnock or Ian Holloway get the managerial spot.

Not going to happen.

Cook is doing a top job and I thank him for that.

In his own words: ‘Just keep going’.

Ben Sturt is 17 years old and is a season-ticket holder in the Fratton end. He is also the youngest member of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust’s Next Generations group, which tackles all issues that may concern younger Pompey fans.