Cook lifts lid on Pompey's late Newport arrival

Paul Cook revealed the reasons for Pompey's late arrival at Newport County.

Tuesday, 27th December 2016, 7:30 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:48 pm
Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler

And the Blues boss dismissed the notion Gary Roberts was dropped from yesterday’s 3-2 success.

Pompey left it to the dying minutes to snare all three points at Rodney Parade yesterday.

Kal Naismith’s winner came with three minutes remaining after Cook’s side made a late entry to the game.

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The players didn’t make their way into the ground until there were less than 50 minutes remaining until kick-off.

Cook explained that was to combat the psychological games he feels are employed by Newport boss Graham Westley.

The team-sheets were delivered on time by coaching staff before the players made their arrival.

Cook stressed it was something which was always scheduled to take place.

He said: ‘It was planned and organised.

‘I don’t want our fans to think we got here late and weren’t prepared. Everything was prepared.

‘You can’t shut the doors and the showers don’t work so it’s not a place to be.

‘It’s all the psychology of the game they are into. That’s what they do.

‘Our staff were here but we came in deliberately late.

‘We do things professionally. It was in, get on the pitch, warm-up and play.

‘They may think we disrespected them, but there’s no disrespect from us to any team.

‘We’re here to win a game. That’s what we want to do.’

Cook made the decision to withdraw Roberts from the starting line-up for the Newport game.

But the Blues boss shot down suggestions the playmaker had been dropped – stating he would never do so.

Cook said: ‘He needed a rest. Our fans think he’s been dropped but there’s no dropping someone like Gary Roberts.’

Cook wasn’t interested in criticising Westley for his conduct during the game.

Westley responded to a request from supporters to do a dance by launching into a jig in his technical area as his side led 2-0.

Seconds later Danny Rose got the goal which launched Pompey’s comeback as they went on to win the game 3-2.

The dancing from Westley would no doubt be viewed as disrespectful to some but Cooking was content to stay away from the subject.

He said: ‘I’m not getting involved in manager spats.’I’m involved in enough of them already!

‘I’m just delighted with the players – I’ll leave it at that.’