Cook: Pompey still have defensive work to do

Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey keeper Luke McGee

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Pompey have been told they still need to eradicate the defensive slips present in their game.

Paul Cook hasn’t been fooled by the clean sheet picked up at Cambridge United last weekend.

He feels there’s still a distance to travel to put to a stop to errors at the back, as his team prepare to face Wycombe in the FA Cup.

The Blues boss believes his side are capable of withstanding the kind of pressure they faced after being reduced to 10 men at the Abbey Stadium.

Being exposed in matches where they are in control is proving a trickier challenge to overcome, however.

Cook said: ‘We haven’t come under pressure in games.

‘So when people criticise you have to take it because they are right.

‘No-one says we lack concentration. They say we can’t defend. We actually can defend.

‘We go to a lot of places and defend really well, like last weekend. Unfortunately we lack concentration.’

The clean sheet record reads six shut outs from 15 league games this season for Pompey.

A total of 16 goals have been conceded across the same period.

Cook thinks there are small margins between where his side are and need to be defensively.

He said: ‘You are talking about personnel. It’s staying focused. Their job is to keep clean sheets.

‘When you look at the goals conceded, it’s 16 in 15 games.

‘It’s probably three goals short of where you want to be.

‘Those three goals are all points.

‘Doncaster’s goal, Notts County’s goal and Plymouth’s late goal. With Accrington’s goal that’s four.

‘Those points would see us second in a blink.’

– JORDAN CROSS