Cook pleased with Pompey attacking potency

Paul Cook is convinced Pompey possess a great attacking potency, regardless of the frustrating Carlisle draw.

Monday, 8th August 2016, 9:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:58 pm
Pompey celebrate Carl Baker's goal. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues were forced to settle for a 1-1 stalemate on the opening day of the League Two campaign.

Their opponents saw out the final 63 minutes of the encounter with 10-men following Jamie Devitt’s second yellow card.

Carl Baker netted a debut goal to cancel out Reggie Lambe’s opener, but the Blues could not find another way past outstanding keeper Mark Gillespie.

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Danny Rose also struck a post in the second-half during 23 attempts on the Cumbrians’ goal.

Failure to beat sides at Fratton Park was a crucial failing in Pompey’s promotion credentials last season.

Yet Cook remains adamant his team is better equipped to defeat visiting opposition this time around.

And it’s a belief not shaken by Saturday’s Fratton Park scoreline.

He said: ‘The players afterwards were a little bit down and flat but that is football, what more can they do to win the game?

‘We had good chances just after half-time, Danny Rose hits the post and you feel it is not going to be your day.

‘That’s football, it is the start of a long season.

‘Last year up until Christmas when we won at Northampton they weren’t going anywhere – but won the league by 13 points, there is plenty of time.

‘I feel we have more of a potency about us now, certainly on Saturday we showed that and I feel at times that will be the case.

‘It is difficult when people get so many men behind the ball as that. As disappointed as some of our fans will be, that is the way it is going to be this season.

‘You cannot do any more. We had the repetition of getting the ball back and attacking again and trying to score, but couldn’t despite having great chances.

‘Without a doubt we should have won it.’

Aside from the frustration at not winning a game against 10-men, Cook was disappointed with the manner of Carlisle’s opener.

Lambe, a summer recruit from Mansfield, prodded the ball past keeper David Forde in the 14th minute.

It had arisen following a positional error between central defenders Jack Whatmough and Christian Burgess.

The pair would remain steadfast for the remainder of the game, although with Carlisle retreating in their half there was not much call to defend.

It represented the visitors’ only attempt on goal, with Forde a spectator for the vast majority of Fratton Park procedings.

Cook added: ‘Their goal disappoints me, I must admit, it was caused between Jack and Christian.

‘Christian wins the header and Jack stays deep, little things like that need to be sorted and Jack has got to play these games to learn and get experience.

‘For our lads now that has got to be the shape of things to come, it’s about concentration levels and not conceding.

‘Look at David Forde for example, he hasn’t had a shot to save in the game but the opposition have still come away with a point.’