Cook on a Pompey mission
PAUL COOK has spoken of his driving passion to see the Pompey job through to success.
And the Blues boss will invoke a siege mentality among his players to deliver on that ambition.
Cook takes his team into tomorrow’s clash with Leyton Orient looking to turn up the heat on the side’s in League Two’s automatic promotion berths.
The 49-year-old was linked with a return to Chesterfield this week, after being made bookies’ favourite for the job at the Proact Stadium.
But Cook is adamant he wants to stay the course at Fratton Park – and is prepared to face any heat which comes his way.
He said: ‘I’m so happy to be here. It really is an honour and I’m totally committed.
‘The appetite for success here is huge. I’m not cowering away from that.
‘I believe my job is a big job, a long job and it’s to take this club back to where we believe it should be.
‘Along the way I will get criticised and get stick. I believe I can take that and not react in a bad way. I genuinely do. I’m a supporter so I know what it’s like to be a fan. I know.
‘This is a time for focus and what can be achieved.
‘It’s time to focus on what can be achieved – and it’s down to me to achieve it.’
Cook now wants his players to intensify their focus on what is required to hit their target over the second half of the season.
And he is planning to do all he can to limit the pressure which comes with the task ahead.
If that means shielding his players from the weight of expectation they face that’s something he’s ready to do.
Cook added: ‘Portsmouth Football Club is the story.
‘But these lads now must be allowed to breathe and deliver what they’re here for.
‘The pressure at this club gets cranked up by the day. The pressure is around to get promoted.
‘If we speak about it every day, every disappointment is going to be another brick to carry.
‘It will end up getting too heavy. For us now it’s focus on the next game.
‘Everyone sees teams winning and losing around the country. That’s just the nature of football.
‘It’s more a case of focusing on what we need to achieve than closing ranks.
‘We lose an away game for the first time in three months and you see the reaction.
‘I don’t want to engage with anyone over it. My family will suffer as much as any household in Portsmouth after that loss. Ask them what I’m like to live with after a defeat.
‘It’s always tough. I’ll give reasons why we aren’t winning and people will argue the case of what we should do.
‘The reality of the season will be deemed after we kick the last ball.
‘We can finish out of the play-offs, in the play-offs or go up.
‘My success will be measured by what we deliver.’