Woking display not good enough for Cook

Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Kanu takes on Morten Gamst Pedersen.  Picture: Steve Reid

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Pompey recorded a first pre-season clean sheet as they toasted a third successive victory.

Yet Paul Cook failed to be impressed by last night’s Woking showing.

Woking were comfortably the better team in the second half and had more of the ball and not many teams dominate my teams in possession of the ball and that is a disappointment

Paul Cook

Gareth Evans and Matt Clarke netted in four first-half minutes to set the Blues on their way to a Kingfield Stadium win.

Also featuring fellow triallists Brian Murphy and Frank van der Struijk in the starting line-up, it was once again an experimental team from Cook.

The result was a 2-0 triumph, following on from beating Gosport Borough and Coventry City during the past week.

Cook, though, was unhappy with the nature of last night’s performance.

He said: ‘We need to be better than that, we have to be stronger, we have got to have more about us, we have got to get about them more.

‘When you are in the ascendancy you have to go and stamp your authority on the game – and I felt that was lacking.

‘We actually scored a couple of good goals, the first was a beauty but you have got to go on and win the game well and the match should become easy for you.

‘I felt we didn’t have that respect for Woking like we had the respect for Coventry, if you understand what I mean. I am not disrespecting Woking in any shape or form, I’m just saying what I saw.

‘Woking were comfortably the better team in the second half and had more of the ball and not many teams dominate my teams in possession of the ball and that is a disappointment.

‘I think our lads slacked off the pace and that wasn’t right.’

Last night saw the welcome return of Gary Roberts from injury, although skipper Paul Robinson dropped to the bench.

Instead Michael Doyle captained the side, with Christian Burgess and Matt Clarke serving as the central defenders.

Cook added: ‘You have got to look at every player.

‘People will always read into stuff, it’s Portsmouth Football Club, we are a big club and every time you 
make a selection there’s a question.

‘Gary Roberts back was pleasing but it was probably one of the poorest 90 minutes I have seen from him!

‘I have never seen him play well pre-season. It’s a good job I have seen him play well during the season.

‘It’s good for everyone they are getting minutes on the pitch, we just want to hit the ground running. It’s important we start the season strong and there’s a great fixture against Dagenham.’