Cook: Fratton Park has now seen Pompey promotion credentials

Paul Cook is adamant Fratton Park can now believe in Pompey's promotion power.

Wednesday, 15th March 2017, 6:01 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:59 am
Pompey celebrate Kal Naismith's goal against Grimsby. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues last night returned to home soil following outstanding successive away victories at Crawley and Colchester.

What followed was a second consecutive 4-0 thumping as Grimsby were brutally taken apart by Cook’s troops.

Kyle Bennett, Danny Rose, Carl Baker and Kal Naismith all netted as Pompey opened up a six-point cushion in the automatic promotion spots.

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The destruction of the Mariners took place in front of a Fratton crowd of 16,492, with 527 visiting supporters.

And Cook insists his team have now demonstrated their impressive promotion credentials to a much-wider Pompey audience.

He said: ‘We have a well-balanced team that’s playing really well and, as a manager, I believe in continuity.

‘When you chop and change teams and formations you can end up in trouble.

‘If I didn’t have such faith in the players, I would not continually play the same group.

‘Now people are seeing the fruits of what we work on, although nothing has yet been achieved.

‘But for the first time, especially at Fratton Park, people are seeing Portsmouth Football Club play and I think that is huge.

‘The lads were excellent, they really were. It was important our fans saw that.

‘I do think our fans can give the team a little bit of respite now and say “we have got an edge to us, we can score goals”. If there are men behind the ball, let’s hope the patience can stay because there are going to be twists and turns.

‘All of a sudden, everything seems to have rolled in our favour.

‘Now it seems in our hands to give up but we have known this for a long time.

‘Football is a cruel game and you can never get ahead of yourself.’

Pompey suffered early scares when Zak Mills struck a post from 25-yards, while David Forde produced an excellent save to deny Akwasi Asante.

But once Bennett’s third goal in as many games broke the deadlock on 12 minutes, the hosts ruled supreme.

And the reaction to the 1-0 home defeat to Crewe in their previous Fratton Park performance has been superb.

Cook added: ‘The support was excellent.

‘It was under the lights at Fratton Park when the pitch is wet, so you are guaranteed a good game.

‘There is no other way it can happen.

‘If somebody would have said we would win three games, score 11 goals and concede none after that Crewe display then no-one would have believed them.

‘Against Crewe we played badly.

‘You must hold your hands up and say we were poor, no problem with that.

‘But I don’t think the players’ character should ever come into question.’