Cook: Top-class Fratton support inspired Pompey win

Eoin Doyle celebrates with the Pompey fans after sealing a 2-0 win over Blackpool last night    Picture: Joe Pepler
Eoin Doyle celebrates with the Pompey fans after sealing a 2-0 win over Blackpool last night Picture: Joe Pepler
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Paul Cook paid tribute to the ‘top-class’ Fratton faithful who inspired his side to victory last night.

Fratton Park produced one of its special atmospheres under floodlights as the hosts recorded a second consecutive 2-0 win.

Gareth Evans converted Enda Stevens’ cross on 27 minutes to break the deadlock against Blackpool.

Then Eoin Doyle’s first for the club sealed a thoroughly-deserved triumph deep into stoppage-time.

Cook’s troops had been roared on by the majority of the 15,132 crowd, who created noise levels heard too infrequent this season.

In the build-up, Blues followers had been encouraged to demonstrate unity and to get behind the team by supporters’ group SOS Pompey.

And Cook was thrilled by the fans’ role in another crucial victory.

He said: ‘That was a great night for us – and it was great to see Fratton Park like that.

‘We can’t win every game, we can’t play well every match, but when you left the ground last night we all felt a sense of: “That was good”.

‘The fans were top-class, absolutely magnificent.

‘I felt positive after Wycombe, our crowd afterwards reacted well despite the defeat, and that’s important for me as a manager.

‘I want us to be a great team and our supporters to enjoy watching us play.

‘We played really well, it was one of our best performances and came in a big game.

‘It was just a great night for us all.’

Crucially, the Blues recorded their first back-to-back wins since the beginning of November.

Steadily, they are building momentum as the promotion race enters the final stage of what has been an inconsistent campaign for Pompey.

Last night top-two Doncaster and Plymouth both lost, although Carlisle’s win meant Cook’s men remain four points adrift of the third automatic spot.

The Blues also collected a Fratton Park 2-0 victory over Accrington at the weekend, although the Blackpool win was far more convincing in terms of the display.

It certainly impressed those supporters present, who applauded the commitment and desire demonstrated by the players.

And Cook revealed he was always confident of a positive outcome.

He added: ‘When you get an open game between two teams who want to win a football match we will be alright.

‘We played really well at Wycombe the other week and were beaten, that’s football, and I was always comfortable about last night.

‘I knew it would be difficult against Accrington because of the way the game is. Likewise, I knew Blackpool would play a certain way.

‘We are comfortable with how we felt we could manage their approach and got the win.’