Paul Cook insisted: I take the blame.
The Pompey boss was adamant the buck stops with him after his side’s desperately disappointing loss to Crewe.
Cook’s players came up woefully short against a side coming to Fratton Park off the back of a 4-0 defeat at Hartlepool.
The loss saw the display go continually downhill as Pompey failed to work keeper Ben Garratt across 95 minutes of play.
The home crowd made their feelings known on the full-time whistle as boos rang around Fratton Park.
Cook made it clear he feels he’s the man who has to take the flak for the loss.
And he was adamant he would take the criticism squarely on the chin.
Cook said: ‘As a manager, I must take the blame.
‘As manager of Portsmouth Football Club I will shoulder the blame for the players until my last day. And I will now.
‘They were flat and I take the blame for it. I don’t want to dissect the game. I don’t want to be disrespectful.
‘But I will never blame the players. I never will.’
Despite Crewe losing the past two games and coming to Pompey off the back of a 4-0 loss at Hartlepool, the Railwaymen were able to snaffle the points through George Ray’s 77th-minute header.
Cook made no bones about the fact David Artell’s side were good value for the victory, especially in a second half where Pompey came up woefully short.
He said: ‘I thought Crewe were excellent in the second half.
‘Let’s not beat about the bush. They were the best team on the pitch.
‘I pride myself that wherever I go my team is the best team on the pitch but Crewe were full value for the victory.’
Inevitably, Cook will face criticism for the defeat.
With the 50-year-old picking and signing the players, he feels he – and not the men on the pitch– should shoulder the blame.
He said: ‘Managers tenures come and go. We’re all here for a period of time.
‘The players will determine what success you have. The reality for us all is we bring the players in. Those players can make you good or bad.
‘To date now the players have being doing okay for me.
‘But this was one of our flattest performances we’ve had under me as manager.
‘As a manager and the leader of those people I must take the blame for that.
‘Everyone can know I’m hurting because I am. When you feel as low as this you must take the pain. You must.
‘If you don’t you won’t have the fire to come back out fighting.’
– JORDAN CROSS