Goalscoring not systems – the cause behind Pompey’s poor start.
That is the verdict of Paul Cook, who is adamant his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation is not to blame for the Blues’ woes.
There is no right way or wrong way of playing, people want to winPaul Cook
With two points from a possible nine and only one goal, concerns have been raised over Pompey’s promotion credentials.
Heading into Saturday’s visit of Colchester, certainly Cook’s side have yet to fire.
Nonetheless, the Blues boss is sticking by a system which continues to receive criticism from sections.
He said: ‘You get all sorts of different scenarios in terms of systems, formations and tactics, but the reality is people want to see you win football games.
‘By the time you win a game tactics and formations go out the window, that is my honest opinion about it.
‘It is about winning, the end product is winning.
‘There is no right way or wrong way of playing, people want to win.
‘People speak about formations, but look at the formation we played and the attempts on goal against Carlisle and Morecambe. If you have that amount then you should win games.
‘People are moaning about the lack of wins. With all due respect to some, they believe a change of system will win the game.
‘You can go on about systems and formations, but we are not scoring goals and it doesn’t matter what I say or do, we will not solve that problem before tomorrow.
‘Personally, I believe we should have beaten Carlisle so should be sitting on four points now.
‘My job is to keep the lads organised, happy and to turn up Saturday and play well. If we play well we will win games.’
For Cook, though, there remains a concern that pressure could blunt his team’s effectiveness.
He added: ‘With the way we play, if we allow the opposition to score first we have problems.
‘These are the little things we are not managing well and our supporters are right to get frustrated, I have no issues with it.
‘We are expected to go up and if you are not winning you must take the criticism.
‘My worry is any type of pressure transmits to the players, that is my only concern. We are dealing with lads at a certain level now who wouldn’t handle it well.
‘These aren’t Sergio Aguero, they are in this league for a reason and we have to make sure we don’t create pressure towards them.’