Cook pinpoints major factor in Plymouth showdown

PAUL COOK highlighted Pompey's momentum as a key factor going into the Plymouth promotion showdown.

Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 7:01 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:41 pm
Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues boss is anticipating an ‘electric’ atmosphere at Fratton Park on Saturday for what is undoubtedly the biggest game of the season.

And he is delighted his men are responding to his demand of upping the pressure on their rivals with their best form of the campaign.

Sixth-placed Pompey picked up their elusive third league win on the bounce at Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.

That sees them going into the clash with impetus and knowing a win would see them leapfrog the Pilgrims, who are in fifth spot.

In contrast, Derek Adams’ side have lost five of their past eight games – with late goals sending them to defeat in their most recent outings.

Cook said: ‘Plymouth have had a great season and it will be a packed at Fratton Park.

‘The atmosphere is going to be electric. Plymouth have had a great season. They’ve been a front-runner. It’s a tough game for us.

‘But this is what we want. These are the big games we want. It’s going to be electric. That’s what we are here for.

‘We wanted to win the game on Saturday and go into that match on a run.

‘Now can we put four wins together? Can we keep going unbeaten?

‘What a great game for everyone connected with Portsmouth Football Club.’

Cook is content with his team’s position, with six games remaining in the hunt to reach League One.

The Blues are five points off the top three with a game in hand on their rivals.

Cook knows there is still mileage left in the promotion race with plenty of teams vying for success.

The 49-year-old paid tribute to the managers of those sides making it a dramatic finale.

‘There’s nothing achieved but we must believe in what we’re doing,’ added Cook.

‘We’ve won three. We’re on 69 points and there’s a lot of points to play for. If you’d offered me that with six games to go we’d have taken that.

‘There’s other teams around us doing well. Accrington Stanley are doing fantastically well. Credit to them.

‘Bristol Rovers are on a great run, Oxford are flying.

‘In my opinion, there’s not too many people who want to say well done to someone else.

‘Accrington may amass points we can’t reach. That would be a fantastic achievement for John (Coleman) and his team.

‘Bristol Rovers – Darrell (Clarke) got manager of the month. Chris Wilder at Northampton. Michael Appleton at Oxford. They’ve done great.

‘Derek Adams at Plymouth has had a fantastic season. They’ve been there to be shot at all season.

‘If we fall short, I won’t have a problem with that.

‘We’ll go in the play-offs, if we can do that, and do our best.

‘We will keep working to where this club wants to be.’