Pompey boss wants man in the middle to change ways

Referee Nigel Miller frustrated Blues boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Referee Nigel Miller frustrated Blues boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Smith. Picture: Joe Pepler

Smith was poor at Pompey – but is bound to score against us

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Paul Cook revealed he complained about referee Nigel Miller’s appointment to Saturday’s loss to Notts County.

Pompey were angry at Miller’s decisions as they fell to a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Fratton Park.

But Cook was at pains to say the Blues only had themselves to blame for falling to their fifth league defeat of the season.

The Blues were unhappy the Magpies’ second goal was allowed to stand.

Cook felt Tom Davies was fouled in the build-up to Adam Campbell’s goal, while Christian Burgess also appeared to be impeded.

Miller was the referee in charge of Pompey’s 2-0 loss at Morecambe in August.

That match saw Cook receive a two-match touchline ban and fined £1,500 after being hit with a misconduct charge.

The Pompey boss felt Miller’s decisions would come under scrutiny, as was the case. He knows that wasn’t the reason for his side coming away from the game empty handed, though.

Cook said: ‘He sent me off at Morecambe and we complained about having him this week because we knew what would come.

‘You have to get on with it. That’s the reality of it.

‘There were some mind-blowing decisions. I have to get on with it, I’m not getting myself into trouble.

‘I never blame referees. He refs the game and we get on with it. We had enough chances to win the game.’

Cook will monitor the fitness of both Gareth Evans and Enda Stevens who picked up injuries on Saturday.

Stevens was withdrawn for Kal Naismith in the second half after picking up a hamstring problem.

And Evans needed lengthy treatment to a shin injury before battling through the rest of the game.

Pompey had a clean bill of health going into the game with Adam Buxton, Matt Clarke, Drew Talbot and Noel Hunt all returning to training last week.

Cook wasn’t looking to blame the injury issues on the game’s outcome.

He said: ‘It’s not good when we’re playing with two non full-backs but I’m not making excuses.’

Meanwhile, Cook welcomed the news of Conor Chaplin extending his Pompey deal. Chaplin inked a year’s extension to his existing agreement on Friday.

That means the exciting talent is now under contract until the summer of 2019.

Chaplin grabbed his fourth goal of the campaign on Saturday but also failed to take two further good chances.

Cook said: ‘I’m delighted for Conor. He’s a good lad but it doesn’t feel so good on days like these.’

- JORDAN CROSS