Paul Cook: Pompey can take credit for reaching play-offs

Pompey goalscorer Gary Roberts. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey goalscorer Gary Roberts. Picture: Joe Pepler
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After Pompey virtually sealed their play-off spot, boss Paul Cook revealed he is delighted with his players.

The 2-1 win against Wycombe on Saturday means the Blues are six points clear of the only challengers Cambridge, who have two matches left.

Cook’s men have three to play and a goal difference of plus 29, with Cambridge only having plus 11.

Pompey have now won four of their past six League Two matches, while it would have taken six out of six to really put them in the race for automatic promotion.

But there is plenty to be positive about with a Wembley date on Monday, May 30 now the target.

Cook said: ‘All in all, we’re pleased.

‘It has been a long season and I think everyone can take credit that we have made the play-offs if that is going to be the outcome.

‘It’s a good performance, 72 points is decent enough.

‘We have three games to go, we’ll keep persevering.

‘That’s four wins out of six games.

‘Unfortunately the two defeats have been very costly.

‘We would have had to win both games to be up there I suppose.

‘So all in all we are where we are for a reason and come the end of the season league tables don’t lie.’

Cook described Pompey’s performance against Wycombe as ‘like the English weather’.

Some quality incisive attacking play saw the Wycombe defence ripped apart time and time again.

Gary Roberts and Conor Chaplin both scored excellent goals after great breaks.

Marc McNulty’s fine run teed up Roberts before a superb pass from Michael Doyle sent substitute Chaplin away to net.

But Wycombe made it a tense finish with a free-kick goal from Sido Jombati.

Cook summed up the display as a microcosm of his team this season.

He said: ‘It was a typical performance this year, it had everything we do in it.

‘There were signs of real quality but also signs of nervousness and hesitancy.

‘The rest of it was like a typical Portsmouth performance.

‘It was like the English weather, it was all there in 90 minutes.

‘I really want us to be bright and pass the ball.

‘At times in the first half we were showing signs of going on to do that.

‘Second half we made it very edgy and nervy by not doing the right things and our ball retention was poor.

‘These lads have had a tough week and they take a lot of knocks.

‘The manager takes knocks as well and that’s part of my job.’

– DAVID BRAWN