Cook praise for ‘top class’ SOS Pompey gesture

The Pompey players and fans alike celebrate Matt Clarke's opener against Accrington on Saturday after 75 seconds Picture: Joe Pepler
The Pompey players and fans alike celebrate Matt Clarke's opener against Accrington on Saturday after 75 seconds Picture: Joe Pepler
Gary O'Neil during his Pompey playing days

Former Pompey favourite reveals desire for Fratton return

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Paul Cook has branded SOS Pompey’s call to arms as ‘top class’.

The supporters’ group have issued a message urging fans to back – not criticise – Blues players.

The unusual move was taken following ill-feeling displayed during Saturday’s home game against Accrington.

Despite a 2-0 win, sections of the Fratton faithful were unhappy over the performance, voicing a negative reaction as a consequence.

Cook’s men, tomorrow evening, entertain Blackpool (7.45pm) as they seek to record back-to-back victories.

And in the build-up, SOS Pompey have called for unity – a gesture appreciated by Cook.

The Blues boss said: ‘That is absolutely brilliant.

‘Football today is a difficult game for everyone. No matter who you are, managers nowadays seem to get criticised every week so quickly.

‘I personally think in four or five year’s time it is not going to be a good game to be around.

‘The negativity around football in general through social media is an absolute disgrace, that’s just my opinion.

We’ve got to look after Portsmouth Football Club. While Paul Cook, his staff, his players are here we must try our best to give them, giving as much support as we can until that day comes when it changes.

‘I guarantee the day when I go I will be a Pompey fan and will be coming back to watch us from the Fratton end like everyone else, because this club will go forward.

‘And I think the call by the SOS Pompey lads is absolutely top class.’

On Sunday, SOS Pompey issued a statement in light of fan reaction during victory over Accrington.

It read: ‘At the time when Portsmouth Football Club could have disappeared forever, we asked fans attending matches to fully support the players, they were victims of mismanagement at the top as much as anyone.

‘We asked you to show your dissatisfaction only at those who sought to kill our club, not those playing for it in testing times.

‘Today our club really is ours. Off the pitch things have never been better, our club is run in a business-like way by people who truly care.

‘We may not like all decisions made – and we will always ask every Pompey fan to question why they have been reached – but we strongly believe that, unlike those past decisions, these are made only with the club’s best interests at heart and any mistakes are honest mistakes.

‘We all want promotion this season. At times it can be frustrating and unfortunately those frustrations can spill over.

‘Portsmouth is famous for its unity, we could not have saved our club without being together, getting on the players’ backs will not help.

‘This Tuesday, St Valentine’s Day, we call on every Pompey fan to show their passion for the one they love.

‘Let’s make Pompey a wall of noise, a throwback to the days when teams did not savour a match at the Fortress.

‘Together we made a difference. Together we can again.’