Cook weights up Main Pompey issue
Paul Cook welcomed Curtis Main back into his selection plans for today's clash with Doncaster (3pm) but shrugged off the striker's acrimonious exit from Rovers.
Main – who told The News yesterday he expects a hostile reception from the travelling fans at Fratton Park – joined Pompey in the summer following an infamous stay at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Having fallen out of favour at Doncaster midway through last season, the striker was loaned to League One rivals Oldham in a decision that backfired spectacularly on boss Darren Ferguson.
With no recall option, Main subsequently hit form at Boundary Park, declined a return to his parent club and helped the Latics to safety at relegated Rovers’ expense.
An inevitable backlash ensued, with 24-year-old Main moving to the Blues for an undisclosed fee.
But having recovered from a head wound suffered in last month’s win over Wycombe – and coming on as a substitute against Blackpool in midweek – boss Cook insists he is not interested in the player’s Doncaster past as he weighs up a recall for his front man.
That’s after an encouraging start to life on the south coast which has seen Main net three goals in five Pompey starts.
Cook said: ‘I have no interest in that (Main’s Rovers stay).
‘I don’t know about what time he had at Doncaster – I know they sent him on loan to Oldham. You will have to ask Curtis about that.
‘Curtis was doing great then got that knock.
‘He’d bided his time and looked effective in games.
‘He’s strong and aggressive, doing everything good.
‘It was probably a little bit of a blow to him at the time as he was just building up momentum.
‘It always goes like that – it’s football.
But he looks like coming back now.’
More promising news for Pompey this week saw fellow striker Noel Hunt (groin) return to training, with Cook expected to make a game-day decision on his potential involvement against Rovers.
Doncaster arrive at Fratton Park one place above the Blues in the League Two table, by virtue of a greater number of goals scored.
Both teams have secured 17 points from their opening 10 games, with 13 of those picked up on home soil.
And the Blues’ boss is hoping his side’s fine Fratton Park form can continue this afternoon as he looks to better last season’s 78-point tally in the quest for automatic-promotion.
‘I think it is important for us that lads like Noel Hunt are back in training,’ said Cook.
‘The squad here are trying their best to achieve a level of success this year that will only be deemed on that final league game of the season.
‘Last year was a difficult league, teams had to get a lot of points to go up.
‘Normally 80-points-plus means you’re promoted – last year there were a lot of points.’