Cook reiterates Pompey promotion resolve

Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Paul Cook has reiterated his resolve to be the manager to kick-start Pompey’s ascent up the Football League.

The Blues’ longest-serving boss since Harry Redknapp’s October 2008 departure reached the League Two play-offs last season.

I don’t want Pompey to have a different manager over the next few years, I want to be the one

Paul Cook

Presently his side are fifth, standing three points adrift of the automatic-promotion spots.

Cook has been the subject of criticism from some fans following a patchy run of results during the past six weeks.

Yet last weekend’s victory with 10 men at Cambridge United demonstrated an encouraging resilience.

And Pompey’s boss remains confident his team will continue to follow the path towards promotion.

Cook said: ‘I am trying to do my best to be comfortable managing this club because you go so up and down.

‘One week we are going up, the next I am not good enough as a manager and it is about my tactics – I hear it all.

‘What people have got to realise is I am a fan, I don’t want this club not to go up.

‘I don’t want Pompey to have a different manager over the next few years, I want to be the one.

‘I suffered the other week after Notts County. When you watch your team play the way we did and not win you think to yourself “Wow”.

‘It is just back to basics. Forget how good we are, let’s be the hardest-working team on the pitch, let’s do all the basics well – and we did that at Cambridge.

‘We had another good win on the road and showed the defensive side to our game, which is pleasing.’

Cook has now overseen 74 Pompey matches in all competitions since arriving in May 2015.

He has won 32 of them, the most recent at the Abbey Stadium last weekend, and lost 21 times.

The Blues host Wycombe in the FA Cup on Saturday, a competition in which they were eliminated by Premier League Bournemouth in the fourth round last term.

Along the way, Cook’s men notably beat Ipswich Town in a Fratton Park replay.

They then entertain Bristol Rovers in the final Checkatrade Trophy group match on Tuesday night.

Yet escaping League Two remains the priority as Cook attempts to maintain a positive outlook around Pompey.

He added: ‘Before last weekend we had won one in five, but before that had won five in six – and I just laugh at it.

‘That is what people want to do today, everyone in football is negative. I cannot catch my breath about how negative we are getting, how doom and gloom we are everywhere.

‘On Friday night I spoke to John McGreal (Colchester manager) and they hadn’t won in seven.

‘I told him Pep Guardiola hadn’t won in six so to relax. That is the pressure we are putting ourselves under.

‘Man City then beat Barcelona on Tuesday night!’