Paul Cook: Keep Pompey criticism sane

Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Brett Pitman made a return to the Pompey starting XI following a hamstring injury Picture: Joe Pepler

Jackett salutes Pompey’s character following win at Charlton

  • Pompey have taken two points from a possible nine during their start to the campaign
  • Tomorrow’s opponents, Colchester, presently sit second in League Two
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Paul Cook shrugged off the criticism and called on the Fratton faithful not to write off Pompey’s season after three matches.

The Blues have collected two points from their opening three League Two fixtures, scoring just once.

By all means argue, have an opinion, have a good debate about it, but keep it in a sane place

Paul Cook

It represents a spluttering start to a campaign in which Cook is widely expected to finally lead the club out of the bottom division.

Colchester visit Fratton Park tomorrow seeking to build on their current placing of second following an encouraging start.

Regardless of a poor opening few weeks, Cook remains bullish over Pompey’s promotion credentials.

And he refuses to be dragged down by the doubters.

He said: ‘My last three years in management have been won League Two, the League One play-offs and the League Two play-offs – yet after three games people are saying you haven’t got a clue.

‘Well, I must have bluffed it well for a while.

‘Supporters’ opinions will be valid because we are not winning games. So when we win do I say “shut up and get back in your box”?

‘No, they’ll be out of the box soon enough when we are not winning again.

‘You get on with it, deal with it. I don’t know why managers get so frustrated. Our job is to solve the problems, that is why we are managers.

‘We look at the positivity of what we have done at the club in 13 months, but the reality is the club needs to be promoted, so there is a balance to everyone’s argument.

‘If you are not winning games early on people will doubt you can get promotion.

‘This is the club’s fourth season at this level and we’ve had a bad start – give us a break.

‘By all means argue, have an opinion, have a good debate about it, but keep it in a sane place.

‘Gareth Evans has not been fit, we have Conor Chaplin who hasn’t yet started, we don’t know what’s our strongest team.

‘So after three games with the squad we’ve got some are writing us off – good luck with that.’

There have been calls from some for Cook to depart following the midweek defeat at Morecambe.

The fixture also saw Chaplin omitted from a Blues squad for the first time under his reign.

Cook added: ‘There are people under more pressure than me, I am lucky enough to have the job.

‘We have got to make sure we turn up, play well, win games and make supporters happy, that is the reality of it.

‘There is pressure on us all now, especially after last year. Everyone expects us to get promoted, you have to deal with it and get on with it.

‘Don’t start cowering away saying “I don’t like people’s comments”.

‘I actually don’t like the comments – so I must win a few so I can shut them up.’