PAUL COOK welcomed the prospect of an FA Cup showdown with Southampton.
The Pompey boss explained he would be delighted to be handed a tie against the Blues’ south coast rivals in tonight’s draw.
I’d love to play them. I think it’s good.Paul Cook
Pompey are in the third round for the first time since 2012 following Saturday’s victory over Accrington Stanley.
They will be ball number 48 in the hat – and Cook admitted he would love to see them paired with Ronald Koeman’s Premier League outfit.
Cook said: ‘I’ve got no problem with that.
‘I’d love to play them. I think it’s good.
‘Rivalry is good and supporters look forward to those games.
‘Unfortunately, the two clubs have now gone in different directions but why shouldn’t we want to play them?
‘I was at their game last week and got a bit of stick.
‘I don’t think it helped that Liverpool won 6-1! I don’t think I’ll be invited back!
‘It’s football. When you’ve travelled from Liverpool to Manchester United on coaches, you know what hatred is.
‘I doubt it’s much different to Southampton.
‘You don’t get welcomed in and you don’t get welcomed out!
‘Stadiums have improved and they have a lovely stadium to play football in.
‘Rivalries are fierce and intense but it should be kept in a good place.’
Despite cup success, Cook underlined where the priorities lie for Pompey this season.
He said: ‘Getting in the third round and having a great day out for the supporters is good.
‘But then we need to concentrate on the league – that’s our bread and butter. That’s huge.’