Pompey boss wants popular away haunt to be place to fear

Paul Cook, right, watches on at Fratton Park in 2013 as Simon Ferry contests David Connolly's red card. Picture: Barry Zee
Paul Cook, right, watches on at Fratton Park in 2013 as Simon Ferry contests David Connolly's red card. Picture: Barry Zee
  • Blues boss tasted Fratton Park playing success with Wolves and Tranmere
  • Victorious in only previous appearance as a boss with Chesterfield

As a player, a jubilant Paul Cook often revelled with the away fans at Fratton Park.

Now installed as Blues boss, the Scouser is striving to construct added steel to the battlements of the old fortress.

The memories of northern lads when it comes to Fratton Park is it was always such a long journey on a Friday

Paul Cook

It was back in March 1990 when the cultured midfielder was part of a Wolverhampton Wanderers side who won 3-1 on the south coast.

Frank Burrows’ Blues lost out to strikes from Gary Bellamy, Steve Bull and a Mike Fillery own goal. Guy Whittingham replied.

In April 1997, Cook himself netted in front of the Fratton end as Tranmere won 3-1.

On an occasion preceded by a minute’s silence for ex-Pompey chairman John Deacon, Gary Jones and Lee Jones also netted for John Aldridge’s side.

On the flip side, Cook was a member of the Stockport County side who were defeated 1-0 in the famous Wall of Noise evening in February 1998.

Not that he remembers too much about that particular event.

Still, the 48-year-old has fond playing memories of Fratton Park visits from the past.

And he’s hoping the home fans can enjoy his presence in the future.

He said: ‘I’ve played here quite a few times and remember one Tuesday 
when I played here with Wolves and Bully had a great game.

‘I scored a header once for Tranmere at the home end in another win.

‘But regardless it has always been a good place to play football with the atmosphere.

‘I don’t really remember the Stockport game, although I can recall both teams were in trouble around the relegation zone at the time.

‘The memories of northern lads when it comes to Fratton Park is it was always such a long journey on a Friday!

‘I think that is something Portsmouth suffers with when you look at the away form.

‘Some of the travelling we do can be a problem.

‘The fans need some direction now, they are getting a bit tired of everything, getting a bit laboured with what’s going on on the pitch, the important thing now is to try to give them a bit of energy.

‘The gist of it is I want the place to be rocking because the atmosphere down here can be electric.’

Cook’s only previous visit to Fratton Park as a manager was a 2-0 victory for Chesterfield in August 2013.

David Connolly was given his marching orders as two goals in the final three minutes from substitutes Armand Gnanduillet and Tendayi Darikwa settled the match.

Meanwhile, next season’s fixtures will become clear on June 17, when the Football League releases its list.

The League Two campaign is scheduled to begin on August 8, with the first round of the Capital One Cup starting that same week.

The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy – currently held by Bristol City – will kick off in the week commencing August 31.