Cook's warning for Pompey fans after Mansfield boos

Paul Cook refused to criticise the Pompey boo-boys but warned Blues fans against turning Fratton Park into a ground in which their own side '˜fears to play'.

Sunday, 13th November 2016, 2:18 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:13 pm
Pompey boss Paul Cook   Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler

The hosts ran out emphatic 4-0 winners over nine-man Mansfield Town yesterday to move into fourth spot in the League Two table.

But Pompey’s inability to put the game beyond their visitors until the 84th minute – when Noel Hunt doubled their advantage – was a source of major frustration for many among the 16,393 crowd.

That spilled into sustained booing as the Blues’ patient probing football failed to satisfy the demands of a vocal home support.

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But Cook pointed to Hunt’s goal – his first for the club – as vindication for sticking to his passing philosophy.

He added: ‘The crowd were getting agitated and there were moans and groans coming down, yet the ball ended up in the net with a fantastic goal.

‘Sometimes you have just got to be careful what you want and how you want our players to play – it can’t always be about winning.

‘We must have the confidence to play the game.

‘Players have got to feel comfortable playing at Fratton Park.

‘We can’t and I can’t turn Fratton Park into a place where lads fear to play.’

And Cook has called for togetherness as his side continue on their League Two promotion quest.

He added: ‘I don’t grasp the crowd reaction.

‘But for as anxious as our fans get, they only want success.

‘And I will never be critical of Pompey fans – never.

‘They turn up in their thousands and only want success.

‘But we are where we are – and nobody is getting promoted in November.

‘We have to make sure we all stick together.’

– JEFF MARSHMAN