Pompey: Paul Cook calls for united front

Caolan Lavery shows his frustration. Picture: Joe Pepler
Caolan Lavery shows his frustration. Picture: Joe Pepler

PAUL COOK called on Pompey to remain united as their home frustrations continued.

The Blues’ struggles at Fratton Park went on as they were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw by AFC Wimbledon yesterday.

It’s a big time now, so let’s all get behind the team if we can.

Paul Cook

That means it’s still just two league wins on their own patch for Cook’s men this season.

Pompey failed to carve out the opportunities to warrant taking all three points against the Dons.

That led to boos on the full-time whistle as the home crowd aired their grievances.

Pompey are now fourth in League Two – nine points off leaders Plymouth Argyle.

Cook knows the home form is not good enough but he feels it is crucial there is now a togetherness as the season enters a key period.

He said: ‘We aren’t winning enough at home but there is a long way to go yet.

‘If people want to get down I have no problems with that.

‘We have enough quality to win a game but you can see the tension coming into us at the end of the game.

‘Adam Webster comes forward late on and puts the ball out. You can see it happening.

‘It’s a big time now, so let’s all get behind the team if we can.

‘If anyone doesn’t want to do that it’s fine by me but we’ll keep going.

‘The players have to get the fans up for it.

‘We started the game well but then we drifted off it.

‘We haven’t really had the confidence at home yet that goals can give you. You have to be strong and have a mentality to play in front of our supporters.

‘It’s my job to generate that culture.’

Cook opted to play a 4-4-2 formation in the televised clash with the Dons, as he reponded to the clamour from fans to play with two strikers.

Pompey carved out just three shots on goal, however, and mustered a single shot on target across the 90 minutes.

The result was fans’ disappointment being aired at the end of the game.

Cook understands why that’s the case – with the home crowd having little to get excited about so far at Fratton Park in the league.

He said: ‘They can get frustrated and rightly so.

‘I’m not going to tell them not to get frustrated, no chance. They’re entitled to it. I’ve got no problems with that.

‘I can understand the frustration, of course I can.

‘Away from home we’ve won five, drawn two and lost one.

‘They pay a lot of money to see us and they haven’t seen us win enough at home.

‘No-one is under any illusions at home but I hope anyone who wants to have criticism, vents it towards me and not the players.

‘When we’re at home we’ve always had the frustration of being behind.

‘It’s been Barnet, Morecambe and then a late goal against Stevenage. All our fans have had at home is disappointment. My job is to manage that and lift them.’