Pompey boss: The goals will come
Paul Cook has told the Fratton faithful: The goals will come.
The Blues endured a frustrating opening game to the League Two campaign with a 1-1 home draw with Carlisle.
The visitors played 63 minutes with 10 men as they succeeded in holding off Pompey to scramble a point.
Cook will tonight send out a much-changed side at Coventry in the EFL Cup (7.45pm) as the squad is rotated.
Earning promotion remains the undisputed priority, with Saturday’s trip to Crewe representing their next league encounter.
And the Blues boss is adamant his team are better-equipped in attacking terms.
Cook said: ‘We have played one game at Fratton Park and people are saying it is deja-vu like last year.
‘No it’s not, we created 23 opportunities to score. Against Yeovil last season I fell asleep – I wasn’t asleep on Saturday.
‘You only have to look at the performances of Carl Baker and Milan Lalkovic to know those lads are going to grow into our club.
‘Everything about the game was good except the result, we were excellent, we did well.
‘When you are at clubs like this you must manage disappointment. There will always be people saying you should have done this and should have done that, that is human nature.
‘But we have played, in my opinion, a lot more aggressively and potently than last year.
‘We lacked penetration in those home games against Newport, Orient, Yeovil, Stevenage and Exeter. We didn’t lack penetration on Saturday – we just didn’t get the rub of the green.
‘For anyone who wants to give a balanced argument, always give a fair one.
‘The performances against Yeovil last year were the ones which cost us promotion – the performance against Carlisle is likely to get us to where we want to be.
‘People go on about formations, but when a team sets up to go 5-4-0 it doesn’t matter what formation we are playing, to hurt them we have to get through those lines.
‘We got round them, we got through them, we put enough crosses in, we had enough attempts on goal to score, but unfortunately it didn’t go for us on Saturday.
‘If we keep playing like that I would take them performances every single week.
‘There is always a level of supporter ready to say negative stuff, that is never going to change. My job is not to engage in that.’
Pompey’s side at the Ricoh Arena will be unrecognisable from that of last weekend as Cook seeks to grant match action to his sizeable squad.
But he will not necessarily be altering the system to take on the League One outfit.
He added: ‘I actually believe when we go to other formations we don’t create the same changes, but that is only my opinion, like one of the 18,000.
‘We will be judged at the end of this year on our league position and points tally.’