Cook: New faces have given Pompey edge

Nicke Kabamba Picture; Colin Farmery
Nicke Kabamba Picture; Colin Farmery
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PAUL COOK believes new signings have sharpened Pompey.

The Blues boss feels the January transfer additions have pepped up his squad as they enter a crucial phase of the season.

Cook has decent options at his disposal as his team prepare to face Accrington Stanley at Fratton Park tomorrow.

Curtis Main’s ongoing knee problem is the only concern for Pompey ahead of two quick-fire home games, with Blackpool to visit on Tuesday.

Otherwise, it’s a fully-fit 24-man squad for the visit of John Coleman’s men.

Cook was busy in the transfer window last month, recruiting four new faces and moving on the same number.

Nicke Kabamba, Jamal Lowe, Aaron Simpson and Eoin Doyle arrived, with Ben Close, Milan Lalkovic and Michael Smith departing on loan. Additionally, Adam Buxton joined National League outfit Tranmere on a permanent basis.

Cook feels the business has helped invigorate his men.

He said: ‘We’ve got a fit squad in general and the lads have had the boost of a signing or two to give us a lift.’

Cook will renew his rivalry with Coleman tomorrow as he brings his Accy side south.

The Blues will be out to settle the score for the frustrating 1-0 loss at the Crown Ground last September.

With 18 games to go, Cook knows the need to hit a run of form is evident after dropping to seventh in the League Two table last weekend.

The gap to Carlisle in the third automatic promotion slot is now seven points, although Pompey have a game in hand over the Cumbrians.

The manager feels the opportunity is there to close the gap on Keith Curle’s team.

He added: ‘Eventually we have to go on a run. We have to.

‘Being positive now is important for us. Be positive.

‘The run-in is good for us.

‘We’ve got good home games and it’s all in our favour. Now’s the time to pull together in pursuit of that success.’