Pompey out to book cup final place

Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Pompey today bid for a place in the Premier League Cup final.

The Blues travel to Swansea this afternoon hoping to book their final slot in the under-23 competition.

Paul Cook will assess how his squad are shaping up after Saturday’s win at Mansfield before making his selection for the game.

Reading will lie in wait in the final after they defeated Norwich 4-1 at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.

Cook believes it’s an occasion for Pompey’s fringe players to look forward to.

The Blues boss also feels success is a testament to the strength in depth at Fratton Park.

Much has been made of the Blues not having a reserve team under Cook.

But he feels the run in the Premier League Cup shows the set-up has worked.

He said: ‘It’s a great game for us.

‘We have to pick a team to do well but the lads have done fantastically to get to where they are.

‘We have a tough game but one we’ll look forward to.

‘We haven’t had a reserve team but we’ve got a very successful underbelly.

‘In the end we haven’t done a lot wrong in terms of giving the lads minutes.’

The Swansea match will mark Pompey’s 11th game in the competition this season.

They opened their campaign with a 2-1 qualification round win over Southend in August before beating Barnsley 2-0.

That saw the Blues through to the group stage where they were matched with Everton, Wolves and Norwich in pool C.

It proved a slow start as draws with Norwich and Wolves were followed by defeat at Everton.

Three wins in the return games saw them progress top of the group before beating Sheffield United and Colchester.