Cook: Pompey so close to promotion form

PAUL COOK is convinced Pompey are a small '˜percentage' away from clicking into promotion gear.

Monday, 19th December 2016, 6:01 am
Updated Saturday, 24th December 2016, 10:31 am
Paul Cook is confident his side will improve their home form. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues failed to defeat struggling Hartlepool on Saturday as once again their infuriating Fratton Park form continued.

Former loanee Trevor Carson saved the visitors with a string of excellent saves, particularly during the second half.

Nonetheless, the goalless outcome was a disappointing one for the Fratton faithful as they lost further ground on the top three.

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Cook, though, remained upbeat after witnessing the emphatically one-sided contest.

He said: ‘We are all disappointed, that’s the nature of the game, but I cannot hide behind the fact that, with 25 games to go, the lads are doing okay.

‘The atmosphere at the ground is good, the away support is good, we are that percentage short, we know what, we are not stupid and we are not trying to tell our supporters “Everything is great, we are doing well”.

‘We have to improve a little bit more and must work our socks off to do that.

‘That was the type of performance I want to see at Fratton Park. Ultimately, if that is not good enough and doesn’t get me to where I want to be I will be sacked, I am okay with that. That is how it works, get on with it.

‘I want our players to be that structured, solid and to believe in what they do.

‘We couldn’t get the elusive goal, it was summed up when Michael Doyle strikes that one and it hits the keeper, it’s right at him, a yard either side and we have won 1-0 – but we haven’t.

‘How many chances did Hartlepool have? None, I don’t think Forde had anything to do. Apart from dominating the ball, did we create enough chances to win? Yes.

‘We get criticism when we don’t win, but in the last seven league games we have lost one, drawn two and won four.

‘We’ll keep going and keep winning our games and we’ll get to where we want to be.’

Pompey have now just won one of their last five league fixtures at Fratton Park.

That was last month’s 4-0 victory over a Mansfield side reduced to nine-men.

Intriguingly, Pompey’s next two matches are on their travels, with forthcoming trips to Newport County (Boxing Day) and Yeovil (December 30).

He added: ‘Our away form is keeping us involved in what we are doing, our home form must get better if we are to be promoted.

‘On paper, Stevenage and Hartlepool are games you look to win.

‘I will get dog’s abuse, I know my job is on the line, I am not a stupid person, we have contrived to lose games like that this season.

‘If you draw games and get beaten then you will not get promoted, so eventually if you keep playing like Saturday do you think we would win games? I do.’