Ipswich boss Paul Cook makes Portsmouth admission as he tries to move on from chequered Fratton Park past

Paul Cook refused to get caught up in pre-match talk surrounding his Fratton Park return with Ipswich by insisting: It’s just the next game.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 1:25 pm

And he remained tight-lipped on his thoughts on Danny Cowley’s tenure as Pompey boss by simply saying – ‘that’s their business’.

Former Blues manager Cook returns to PO4 more than four years after guiding the club to the League Two title, before walking out weeks later to join Wigan.

It’s a move which still rankles with the Fratton faithful, ensuring the Scouser is guaranteed a frosty reception on his trip back to the south coast.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Cook, however, attempted to play down his chequered history with Pompey in his press conference before the game.

With his star-studded Ipswich side remaining below the Blues in the league table after their own poor start to the season, he’s more interested in turning his own troops’ form around.

The Tractor Boys boss said the circumstances of the game and what it means to others was not something he was particularly interested in anymore.

Paul Cook on his last visit to Fratton Park in March

He told the East Anglian Daily Time: ‘I’m just fully focused on Ipswich Town. My time at Portsmouth has now passed.

‘Portsmouth have got their own issues that they’re going through and that’s for Danny and Nicky (Cowley) to sort out.

‘I just look forward to preparing the team for our next game.

‘Going back to Portsmouth is just the next game in my league campaign this year.

‘Does it hold much for me? Not particularly. I just desperately want to win the game.’

Twelfth-placed Pompey go into Tuesday night’s fixture three places and one point better off than Ipswich.

But while the Tractor Boys boost a record of just one defeat in seven heading into the match, the Blues have only one win in 11 to their name.

That’s led to pressure growing on Cowley.

But Cook, who also remains under the cosh, wasn’t interested in sharing his thought’s on his counterpart’s problems.

He added: ‘I’ve got no opinion on Portsmouth and Danny and Nicky’s problems, issues or what they’re going through – that's their business.

‘My business is Ipswich and we’ve spoke about my problems so we can move on.’