Cook admits Pompey's lack of defensive focus

POMPEY boss Paul Cook surveyed the best defensive record in League Two and admitted: We hardly work on it!

Saturday, 11th March 2017, 5:59 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 8:15 pm
Pompey forward Kal Naismith Picture: Joe Pepler

Cook revealed the vast majority of his side’s training sessions are focused on attacking play.

That hasn’t stopped his outfit proving to be the most miserly in League Two with 11 games remaining.

The Blues have conceded just 31 goals – the same amount as promotion rivals Luton.

Cook’s side go in search of their 17th clean sheet of an impressive defensive campaign at Colchester today.

The Pompey manager noted the irony of their success there compared to the difficulties they’ve sometimes faced breaking down resolute opposition.

‘It amazes me this game. We don’t work hard on defending,’ said Cook.

‘Ninety per cent of our working week is attacking. Ninety per cent! Yet we have the best defensive record!

‘I’m going to say we don’t half work hard at defending. Hopefully that’ll help the goals!

‘It’s the truth. We work hard on penetrating and movement. But it’s a lot more difficult when teams put men behind the ball.’

Meanwhile, Cook has praised the performance of his returning players.

Kal Naismith was man of the match at Crawley after being recalled against Crewe.

And Danny Rose shone on his return on Tuesday after a seven-game absence.

Cook feels that highlights the depth of his options.

He added: ‘You see Naismith and Rose on Tuesday – both were excellent.

‘That’s what players should do for you when they come back into the team.

‘We’ve got a lot of good players at this club. We’re dead lucky. We shouldn’t debate who’s playing. We should be winning together.’