PAUL COOK shrugged off Pompey’s late agony and insisted: That’s one point closer to promotion.
Lee Molyneux’s 83rd minute leveller sneaked a draw Morecambe barely deserved at Fratton Park last night.
In the process, it denied the Blues breaking into the top three for the first time since September.
Defeat for Carlisle at Cheltenham should have opened the doors for Pompey to barge into the automatic promotion spots.
Meanwhile, second-placed Plymouth lost at home to Notts County.
However, a 1-1 draw for Cook’s side delayed their march into third place.
But Pompey’s boss remained upbeat.
He said: ‘We have closed the gap by one point and that is how you’ve got to look at it, because you would expect those other teams on paper to have got results.
‘People are having sticky runs around us now – and we are doing okay.
‘We’re on 56 points with 13 games to go, there are loads of twists and turns, but we must keep focusing on ourselves.
‘Last night was massively disappointing, but people in general would have expected Plymouth to beat Notts County and Carlisle to get something at Cheltenham.
‘So the likelihood is if we had all won last night, everyone would be saying “Well done” but no nearer than where we are.
‘Probably the biggest winners would have been Luton, who didn’t play. We are now two points clear of them with level games.
‘There’s plenty to play for, we have a good squad, with a good group of players and are optimistic.
‘It’s a painful journey at this club so let’s do it in the 90th minute of the last game!’
Pompey next entertain a Crewe side struggling in 20th spot having last night lost 4-0 at Hartlepool.
On Tuesday night, they travel to Crawley for their game in hand on Carlisle, again offering the opportunity to leapfrog ahead of Keith Curle’s side into third place.
Before then they can reflect on failing to beat a Morecambe outfit who barely raised a challenge on Pompey’s goalmouth.
Cook’s men should have been out of sight during an impressive opening 45 minutes, only to head in at the break goalless.
Then Kal Naismith netted from 25-yards in the 64th minute, barely 60 seconds after his appearance from the bench.
Yet it was Molyneux who had the final say to secure a 1-1 draw and provide more agony for the Fratton faithful.
Cook added: ‘The players didn’t do anything wrong, you have got to move on to the next game now.
‘Come the end of the season, that is when people can say “Well done” and other stuff. Last night was a game that when we took the lead we felt we should have won.
‘Unfortunately we couldn’t see it through.’