Cook: We can all achieve Pompey immortality
PAUL COOK has urged his players to etch their names into Pompey folklore.
Buoyant Blues head to Stevenage tomorrow seeking to retain their stranglehold on an automatic promotion spot.
With nine matches remaining, they presently have a six-point advantage over fourth place.
A run of three consecutive victories have dared to stoke up hopes of finally departing League Two after four seasons.
For those who can achieve a first Pompey promotion since 2002-03, a place in Fratton Park history awaits.
And Cook has called on his team to establish themselves as Blues heroes.
He said: ‘Our lads haven’t stood up and been counted – they are actually playing how I believe they should be.
‘On Tuesday night there was a genuine swagger about the team, that not only comes from confidence but the fans’ support.
‘There is a realisation among the players now as well.
‘This club historically is unbelievable and one day people will speak about our time here.
‘What do we want to be remembered for? Are we going to wallow and tinker into the play-offs and have heartbreak again, and the manager might stay or go and season tickets might be slow to start then pick up?
‘What do we want to be?
‘We have a chance to do something about that and that is not saying ‘we’re going to do it’, not shouting from the rooftops, just having a little bit of quietness about us.
‘We are very focused and, judging on the last three performances, you can see the players have bought into it.’
Pompey are sweating on the fitness of Kyle Bennett and Kal Naismith for tomorrow’s Lamex Stadium trip.
The pair were both substituted with injury problems during the Grimsby romp and are doubts.
Cook has retained a settled side during the past 10 matches, coinciding with the arrival of Eoin Doyle on loan from Preston.
And the Blues boss is delighted with the understanding between his players as partnerships continue to reap victories.
He added: ‘I’ve been here before. You must be consistent and, in my opinion, they are well set up, strong, with a lot of good partnerships on the pitch.
‘If you look at the Crewe game, you wouldn’t have thought they had never played together, yet we have lads who are friends, mates who train every day.
‘You only had to see the goal Carl Baker scored against Grimsby – Baker and Evans working together is what you’d expect.
‘On the other side, Bennett and Stevens have always linked up well.
‘Then there’s Michael Doyle and Danny Rose in the middle of the park, which can become Linganzi and Doyle.
‘Clubs must have partnerships and relationships.’