Paul Cook refuses to blame Pompey players

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Pompey boss Paul Cook refused to point the finger of blame at his players after they went down to a 1-0 defeat to Barnet.

Former Blues striker John Akinde came back to haunt his former employers, with his 41st-minute penalty ensuring a third loss in six games for the visitors.

Kal Naismith challenging for the ball against Barnet. Picture: Joe Pepler

Kal Naismith challenging for the ball against Barnet. Picture: Joe Pepler

The defeat means Pompey now drop out of the League Two play-off places as they occupy eighth place.

However, after failing to rectify Saturday’s disappointing draw at lowly Yeovil, Cook admitted criticising his players’ efforts was not on the agenda.

Instead, he insisted on shouldering the blame himself, after a spirited second-half display brought no reward for his side.

‘It’s easy to do that (criticising the players), it’s easy for the manager,’ said Cook.

‘But I would never, ever criticise my players.

‘Never, ever would I do that as a manager.

‘The players reflect the manager and if the players are getting criticism it’s down to the manager to take that criticism for them.

‘At the end of the day, if the manager isn’t good enough the players aren’t good enough.’