Cook heartened despite Pompey defeat

Jamal Lowe was one of a number of players to impress Pompey boss Paul Cook in Saturdays 1-0 loss at Wycombe   Picture: Joe Pepler
Jamal Lowe was one of a number of players to impress Pompey boss Paul Cook in Saturdays 1-0 loss at Wycombe Picture: Joe Pepler
Ben Close battles for possession against Southend.

O'Keefe impressed with Pompey rival

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Paul Cook shrugged off defeat to promotion rivals Wycombe and insisted: Our display heartened me.

The Blues boss was buoyed by Saturday’s display at Adams Park, irrespective of a 1-0 defeat.

Wycombe were very fortunate the win the match and I am hopeful about the final 18 games

Paul Cook

Scott Kashket’s wickedly-deflected second-half goal earned the hosts a 1-0 victory to climb above Pompey in the League Two table.

It may have been a second consecutive defeat for Cook’s men, yet the manager was delighted with how his revamped side performed.

That belief was reflected by a vociferous 1,800 away support, many continuing to sing 30 minutes after the final whistle.

And Saturday’s showing provided the manager with timely encouragement they can claim promotion.

He said: ‘I hate not enjoying watching our team play and when we go away from home we always attempt to be on the front foot.

‘I want us to have been the best team on the pitch and, as I said to the boys at the end of the game, on Saturday I felt we were.

‘I felt we were the best team.

‘The result won’t say that and I have no issues, well done to Wycombe, but if you are a Pompey fan I think you will have enjoyed watching your team play and I am going to stay on that page all the way along.

‘I thought we were excellent, we were never in trouble in the game, we looked strong, had good movement and the lads Lowe, Roberts and Bennett looked good.

‘Wycombe were very fortunate to win the match and I am hopeful about the final 18 games.

‘I am positive, afterwards there was no anger. Last week after Exeter I was frustrated, I was angry. I came in and wanted to kick walls – I didn’t feel like that on Saturday.

‘I am so disappointed we didn’t get a result, but I believe it is the start of a process which will see us go right the way.’

Pompey have now slipped to seventh following successive losses to Exeter and Wycombe.

Yet they remain seven points adrift of third spot with a game in hand.

Struggling Accrington Stanley visit Fratton Park next Saturday, with Cook’s men desperately requiring a run of victories to boost promotion aspirations.

Cook was genuinely upbeat having witnessed his team’s display against the Chairboys.

And he is seeking unity during the final 18 matches in order to achieve the goal of finally departing the Football League’s bottom division.

He added: ‘We are on the run in now so let’s just get behind each other and people who want to be negative just please park it.

‘You may have the opinion that we won’t go up or Cook’s no good or sack him, but please just park it and, when the outcome arrives, then let your voice be heard properly.

‘I have great belief it won’t be that way, though.’