Boss challenges his players to perform in cup clash
Pompey turn their attentions to the Capital One Cup when they host Derby on Wednesday night.
Spirits are high following a 3-0 victory – and equally impressive performance – against Dagenham at the weekend.
However, it is sure to be a tougher test against a Rams side who spent millions revitalising their squad over the summer.
Cook is looking forward to seeing his squad in action against higher-ranked opponents, although admits that his priority will always be promotion.
The Blues boss said: “It’s an important match – we’re at home against a Championship side and it’s being screened to the nation on television.
“But my priority – the reason I’ve been brought in – has always been to take us out of this division.
“The league campaign with 46 games has to be the most important thing for this football club. That’s your bread and butter.
“We’re playing a fantastic Derby team and I’m sure Paul Clement will be intent on getting his first win there.
“But we’ll pick a team that we think can win the game and all our players should be ready to impress.
“I have a confidence and belief in every single member of our squad and some of them will have the chance to show they deserve a place in the starting 11.
“We’ll be playing a very strong Derby side and we’ll be working as hard as we can, like we do in every game.”
Cook received a rapturous reception when presented to the Pompey fans on the pitch before Saturday’s match.
He said: “To come out and get that welcome with most of my family in attendance is something that no-one can ever take away from me.
“Now I have a desire to bring success for the Pompey fans and I won’t leave a stone unturned in order to do that.”
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