Cook urges positive start to Pompey home countdown

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Pompey fans enjoyed a 2-1 win on their last visit to the Memorial Stadium. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Fratton Park has 12 remaining League Two fixtures this season.

And Paul Cook is urging his side to take advantage of the majority of their matches occurring on home turf.

Leyton Orient visit tomorrow, a side sliding towards the relegation zone and now on their third manager of the campaign.

It represents the first of the 12 home matches Pompey have left, with nine to come on their travels.

Undoubtedly, a benefit for any side, particularly one with aspirations of clawing back more ground to break into the top three.

And Cook is keen for his team to capitalise.

He said: ‘How we manage disappointment will be huge.

‘We had a disappointment at Doncaster, manage it, come back, win tomorrow and that gives everyone a massive lift.

‘Having so many home games left should be an advantage.

‘The lads must all work so hard now, everyone must be ready. You can imagine the team might change from game to game, we just want to win football matches.

‘The importance of scoring the first goal in the game is huge.

‘We have a 100-per-cent record this season when we score first and we must force the issue.

‘We will soon find out how we fare at home, while the lack of travelling now will be great.’

The Blues sit four points outside the automatic promotion spots, still possessing every chance of finally departing League Two.

While home form has lacked in comparison with their travels under Cook, Pompey recorded a 1-0 victory over Luton in their last Fratton Park encounter.

And Cook would like to see his team winning more credit for their progress.

He added: ‘For a team which lost their first away game in three months, there is an amazing reaction to that isn’t it?

‘Somewhere along the line I would love to see people patting some of our lads and say “I have great belief that you are going to go up”.

‘Also, let’s pat the supporters on the back, the support has been fantastic – at Luton and then at Doncaster on a Thursday night.

‘In our last home game we beat Luton, who are a very strong team, a powerful team. We have just beaten them twice.

‘So now and again our lads deserve a little bit of credit from some quarters, from anywhere would be nice, instead of the continuous waiting for a defeat.’