Cook: My favourite Pompey performances
Colchester, Grimsby, Accrington and Luton '“ in no particular order, of course.
For Paul Cook, reflection upon his Fratton Park reign conjures up some familiar occasions.
It is 100 matches in charge and counting, an on-going Pompey presence which dares to suggest promotion come the season’s end.
Cook has won 46 of those fixtures, averaging 1.58 goals per game and yielding an average of 1.71 league points per match. They are returns even hardened critics can grudgingly admire.
Granted, the job is far from complete – seven games remain for the Blues to seal the promotion deal.
In the meantime, Cook can reminisce about those memorable matches his 22-month tenure has so far produced.
He said: ‘The ones where we have played well away from Fratton Park really stick in the mind, such as Accrington, Luton and Colchester. They were really strong wins.
‘I didn’t think we were great at Carlisle, I must admit, but I enjoyed it.
‘Grimsby was a massive win for us as a club, as was Crawley. If we hadn’t won at Crawley, people would have said we’d never make the top three.
‘My first game was that victory over Dagenham & Redbridge.
‘We played well that day but, upon reflection, that was a bad thing for us.
‘I just don’t think it was good for everyone. We played so well that the following Tuesday night, for example, we had Crawley, who would have watched us, and it became a non-event.
‘The cup games in the first season were good. Derby, Bournemouth was a great day, while the replay against Ipswich was a fantastic night. Portman Road was a good day, too.
‘We also played well against York, with Marc McNulty’s hat-trick helping us to a 6-0 win. Looking back, we do good things now and again!
‘Imagine if that win tally was 50 rather than 46, that’s the margins in football now, that’s the margins I feel my team is short.
‘It’s that step, you have to make it now, and if you take that step, everything takes care of itself.’
Cook’s Pompey tenure kicked off on August 8, 2015, with a 3-0 victory over the Daggers.
That season the Blues defeated Derby in the Capital One Cup and Ipswich in an FA Cup replay, before losing to Bournemouth in the fourth round.
There was a 6-0 triumph over York in November 2015, with all six goals arriving in the second half, and a March 2016 victory at Accrington by a 3-1 margin.
This term, Pompey won 3-1 at Luton in November, followed by a 1-0 victory at Grimsby the next away match.
There have also been notable recent away triumphs at Carlisle and Colchester.
Cook added: ‘One of the things that pleases me is our away form.
‘We recently got battered at Stevenage, but do travel well now.
‘Under other managers, Portsmouth’s away form was very, very poor and I used to wonder whether it was the travelling or what they did to prepare.
‘That was one of the things we wanted to try and address as soon as we came into the club.’