Paul Cook demands Pompey move on from maiden defeat

Gary Roberts scores Pompey's consolation goal Picture: Joe Pepler
Gary Roberts scores Pompey's consolation goal Picture: Joe Pepler

Paul Cook has called on his Pompey team to take the positives and move on from their maiden league loss of the season.

Brighton are now the only unbeaten side left in the country following Exeter’s Fratton Park triumph last night.

It’s a difficult league, Leyton Orient have just gone six games without a win and they’ve had a great start to the season

Paul Cook

Paul Tisdale’s outfit won 2-1 through goals from David Wheeler and Arron Davies, as the League Two leaders slipped to third in the table.

Substitute Gary Roberts’ injury-time deflected goal was all the hosts had to show for their immense domination.

But Cook was pleased with his team’s overall display, regardless of the nine-match unbeaten league run which came to an end.

And he has urged the players to pick themselves up and look forward to Saturday’s visit of Yeovil.

‘We did great last night, nothing wrong. It was one of our better performances and that’s two good performances on the run,’ said Cook.

‘Unfortunately, it wasn’t our night and you have just got to accept it. We lost and we have got to move on.

‘It was actually one of our best performances at home, without a shadow of a doubt.

‘We had 70-per-cent possession, created loads of chances and put loads of balls into the box. If you keep chopping and changing you don’t get continuity and we have to be consistent in what we do.

‘It’s a difficult league. Leyton Orient have just gone six games without a win and they’ve had a great start to the season.

‘Football is a tough game, teams are having tough times and we are no different.

‘We have a new team and don’t have a divine right to win any football match, but last night we did enough to win the game – unfortunately we never did.

‘Certainly, I cannot ask for any more from the players or the supporters. It was one of those nights where you just have to say “Not to be tonight” and you go on to the next one.’

A major talking point that emerged from the defeat was the apparent foul on Gareth Evans in the build-up to Exeter’s second goal.

It sparked a Grecians counter-attack during which Lee Holmes created a goal for Davies.

Evans and stand-in skipper Ben Davies felt the Blues should have been awarded a free-kick.

Meanwhile, assistant manager Leam Richardson was seen arguing with the match officials as they left the pitch at the final whistle.

However, that complaint centred on the issue of time added on following Roberts’ late, late strike.

Cook added: ‘It was pleasing to nick a goal but disappointing that we got told there was a minute left and then the referee blows up. I thought we would get another chance, but that’s not to be.

‘With Evans, it looks a foul but referees do their best. We are not going to blame the referee for the result.

‘It wasn’t our night, I don’t have problems like that. Every day is not a good day.’