PAUL COOK called for its return.
Now the Pompey boss wants to see his press gang stay around and put their rivals under the cosh.
Cook revealed how a review of his team’s defeat to Doncaster at the start of the month helped prompt the back-to-basics policy he’s been employing in recent weeks.
And it turned into a video nasty for the Scouser as he relived his team coming up short against the side led by Darren Ferguson, inset.
Cook was an angry observer as he watched his team fail to produce the levels of high-intensity work he demands of them.
And those emotions intensified when he viewed the action again, as he analysed where his players came up short.
That led to the Pompey boss delivering a very clear message to his players.
Cook said: ‘Against Doncaster, there was a player nearly in our half with no-one within 15 yards.
‘That can’t happen at Fratton Park. Won’t happen.
‘When you take the pitch at Fratton Park you are playing Portsmouth Football Club and we’ve got to be on them.
‘We can’t let them think it’s going to be a good afternoon.
‘That’s what happened against Doncaster and, by the time we got going, we couldn’t get it back.’
The Doncaster result could prove to be a line in the sand for Pompey with Cook demanding change from his players in their approaches. He was left angry at the outcome but then had to differentiate between those emotions and feelings of disappointment at defeat.
Cook has regularly campaigned against sweeping reactions to results.
He admitted, however, he sometimes has to recall his past record as a manager to have conviction in his stance.
Cook said: ‘I have to keep reminding myself at Chesterfield, the year we got in the play-offs, we lost four games on the bounce.
‘Support changes on results. It’s not necessarily the right way. It’s footie. There’s a bigger picture
‘What we’ve created is people’s opinions become more valid on the result.
‘Every manager has people who like them and people who don’t.
‘So you win and one argument goes and you lose and it’s the other.
‘The reality is what are we actually arguing about?
‘If it’s the bigger picture, let’s wait, support your team and get to that point. That’s how I look at the game.’
Cook’s messages on his philosophy and style of play are largely focused on the first team but he explained he is looking for that to permeate through the club.
He said: ‘We are trying to create a culture where we don’t like getting beat at all levels.
‘What we’re doing with the under-23s is great.
‘Our club is going forward at a massive rate.’