Cook: Pompey fans will be entertained at Crawley

Gary Roberts celebrates his goal in Pompey's 3-0 win over Crawley earlier in the season Picture: Joe Pepler
Gary Roberts celebrates his goal in Pompey's 3-0 win over Crawley earlier in the season Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey hero Svetoslav Todorov returns to Fratton Park on Saturday

Pompey favourite back at Fratton Park

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CRAWLEY haven’t been burnt by their early-season beating by Pompey.

And that will lead to an open and entertaining game as the Blues go to Broadfield Stadium tomorrow.

Paul Cook is expecting to see two sides play on the front foot in search of three points, as his men face Dermot Drummy’s side.

Crawley have been one of the few sides to come to Fratton Park and not shut up shop this season.

The result was three goals in 37 first-half minutes as Pompey put the Reds to the sword.

Cook feels Drummy’s footballing philosophy means they will not change their ways in the return, with Crawley showing powerful home form.

He said: ‘When you have a style of play and you preach it to your team, you preach it.

‘You may get beat some days but you move on.

‘If Crawley change they change, but I think you’ll see two teams committed to playing football.

‘I think you’ll see two teams committed to winning the game.

‘That normally results in a good game, but we’ll wait and see.’

If Crawley do change their ways, Cook’s Blues will have the answers to the questions posed.

He said: ‘I think we showed last Saturday if we need to go 4-4-2, we will. If we need to go direct because teams are sitting deep, we will.

‘We will do everything we can now in relation to systems and formations to try to force the issue. I think that’s what the fans want. I think the general consensus at the club is that is what’s needed.

‘I feel if we were to get beat at Crawley playing and forcing the issue our fans would be okay with it. There has to be a balance, though. The result is paramount at this club.’

Cook has to come to a decision over formation and personnel after switching to a 4-4-2 last weekend. He feels there isn’t a major difference between that set-up and the 4-2-3-1 approach used for most of the season.

Cook added: ‘Ideally, against Orient, after we scored, I would have gone 4-2-3-1 and played footie.

‘After scoring the first goal we’ve cracked the safe open. Imagine if I’d dragged Conor Chaplin off and gone up one front! Booo!

‘In a 4-2-3-1 we have four players who defend – Rose, Doyle, Burgess and Clarke. Everybody else attacks.

‘In a 4-4-2 you have four defend – two centre-halves, a full-back tucks in and a central midfielder. It’s the same, but people get engulfed in it.’