Pompey boss: Time to make our rivals crack

Paul Cook wants to see Pompey's promotion rivals crack.

Friday, 8th April 2016, 7:01 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:41 pm
Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler

And he’s aiming to pile on the pressure by maintaining the Blues’ winning run.

Pompey are five points off the automatic spots with a game in hand as they head to rock-bottom Dagenham & Redbridge tomorrow.

For Cook, it represents another opportunity to at last claim a third-successive League Two victory.

The Blues’ failure to record consistent results leaves them sixth going into their final seven matches.

Yet the manager is hoping fellow challengers will crack should they see Pompey emerging strongly.

He said: ‘I feel we haven’t put the teams above us under enough pressure. At the minute we are certainly applying it.

‘Imagine if we could get that inconsistency out of our game at the minute, imagine if we could stay unbeaten, imagine if we could put the teams above us under pressure.

‘They are the things we are thinking about.

‘No-one above us wants to see us come into that equation. Mark my words, no-one does.

‘No matter who they are or what they say, they don’t want to see us come into those headlights like we are now.

‘We can’t disappointment them.

‘Why wouldn’t you create as much pressure on teams as possible, that is what the game is about. Once you fear something you react differently.

‘We have felt that pressure all season at Pompey. Our lads have been booed off, given stick, we have had the lot this year and keep turning up – other teams haven’t.

‘Wait until some of the other teams above us find out they might not be automatically promoted, let’s see how their fans react.’

Pompey are currently on 66 points – six points clear of the final side challenging for the play-offs.

Yet Cook’s eyes are fixed higher – and breaking the 80-point barrier for automatic promotion.

He added: ‘If you can get to 80-plus points you must have a chance. So the challenge for Plymouth, Bristol Rovers and everyone is to get past that.

‘Other teams probably need four wins out of their final six matches to get past it.

‘That’s a lot of wins however you dress it up, no matter how good your run is and who you play.

‘I am not so sure it will actually be as high as everyone thinks.

‘You are not taking into account nerves, things that happen on those days, sending-offs, injuries.

‘We have to win tomorrow, I think we need to win at least five of our seven matches.

‘Yet you could win the next four or five on the bounce and find yourselves already up. None of us know, that is the big thing about it, we can all surmise.

‘But we have got to start with a win at Dagenham tomorrow’