Cook revels in perfect Pompey scenario

The perfect scenario for a Paul Cook team '“ and didn't Pompey take advantage in devastating fashion.

Wednesday, 23rd November 2016, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 10:26 am
Kal Naismith, centre, is congratulated by his team-mates after sealing Pompeys 3-1 win at Luton Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues revel going head-to-head with attacking, progressive sides keen on playing football.

Last night they encountered Luton, who neatly fit into such a category.

The outcome was a 3-1 victory to Pompey as they turned on one of their most impressive performances of the season.

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Recovering from the setback of falling behind to Danny Hylton’s seventh-minute goal, they registered through Michael Smith, Gareth Evans and Kal Naismith.

In the process, Cook’s men leapt above the Hatters into fourth place on the night leaders Plymouth lost a second successive match.

Yet the Blues boss was always confident of getting something out of the game.

After all, they faced an opposition seeking victory rather than sitting back with designs for a draw.

He said: ‘We were going to get chances, I can guarantee you in 90 minutes of football we will get chances.

‘Teams like Luton will always have strong spells, they are a good side, they have some good players and play the game the right way, very similar to ourselves.

‘It was always going to be a good game between teams who play that way.

‘I was delighted to go to a place like Kenilworth Road – I want to be the best team on the pitch, I want us to be the best team.

‘We’ve had a lot of criticism, for good or bad, one week we cannot score here or there, but if teams will want to have a match then we will score goals.

‘We clicked, the centre-halves looked like they could defend properly, the first half was great energy and it was a great game of football.

‘Tremendous credit to Nathan Jones’ team and my team, I knew it would be a good game.’

That is now 10 points from a possible 12 in recent league fixtures for the Blues, who are maintaining a promotion interest.

They sit two points off Doncaster in third place and now trail leaders by seven as they enjoy an impressive recent run.

Stevenage visit Fratton Park on Saturday, a fixture Cook knows his team must use to build on successive positive away results.

And he is quietly encouraged at the improvement in his team’s results.

He added: ‘I don’t want to get involved in debates about what is good and bad, I just want to manage the club.

‘People have been questioning and moaning about the last few games, people get high too quick and low.

‘All of a sudden the last five away games we have won three and drawn two, so what are we?

‘We have to keep working away at it. We looked a good team last night and I’m really pleased for the players.’