Cambridge United v Pompey: A numbers game for realistic Paul Cook

Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
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The statistics provide a different perspective and a new narrative.

But Paul Cook is under no illusions his Pompey side requires improvement if they are to defeat Cambridge United today.

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Last weekend’s goalless draw with Yeovil Town attracted criticism from some, while a small amount of others elected to boo.

Rightly there was an air of frustration at Fratton Park following the failure to defeat Paul Sturrock’s strugglers, despite complete dominance.

The subsequent figures provided by the Blues’ analysts represented a display to be pleased about – statistically speaking.

Yet Cook is aware the key numbers centre on the scoreline as the Blues head into battle with Richard Money’s side.

Our best stats this year are Morecambe at home and Yeovil at home – two games we didn’t win!

Paul Cook

He said: ‘For me, the second half we played well enough to win a game, the first half we never.

‘I’m not stupid, I am not trying to tell everyone this is fantastic, it’s not.

‘But what you have got to remember is these figures give you an insight.

‘I am told that on average, for us to win a game, we must have 14 shots – against Yeovil we had 19.

‘For final-third entries on average we need 82, we had 96. Successful entries we need 43 and got 58. Passes we need 600 to win a game, we got 1,100. Total crosses we need 25 and had 56.

‘Our best stats this year are Morecambe at home and Yeovil at home – two games we didn’t win!

‘These stats aren’t the be all and end all, we are not run by this, we go by how we play.

‘But logic tells you you just keep doing what you are doing – and we’ll face Cambridge looking to get a victory.’