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INTO THE UNKNOWN

7 August 2015

Cook looks ahead to Daggers clash

There is much anticipation ahead of the start of the 2015/16 campaign.

Pompey welcome Dagenham & Redbridge to Fratton Park for Paul Cook’s first competitive game as manager.

With 13 new faces in the squad, it certainly is the start of a new era on the south coast.

But Cook insists that the outcome of this weekend’s clash will not decide the fate of Pompey’s season.

The Blues boss said: “There’s a lot if euphoria about at the moment without any real substance because none of us know what Saturday’s going to bring.

“Someone could get sent off or you might have refereeing decisions go against you, but over 46 games it will all balance itself out.

“We’re at the starting blocks and hopefully we can come out of them as quickly as possible.

“We have to deal with whatever’s thrown in front of us – first it’s Dagenham, then Derby, then Plymouth away.

“It’s a continuous cycle in football and it’s a long season, so we won’t be too high when we win and we won’t get too down if we don’t.

“It’ll be like a marathon – there will be periods when you’re going great and there will be periods when you doubt what you’re doing.

“I’ve never really bought into the idea that you have good or bad fixtures at the start. You have to play everyone twice, so you might as well just get on with it.

“It’s our first test this weekend and we’ll have to wait and see whether we pass it, but we’ll be up against a well organised Dagenham side.”

After leading Pompey through an unbeaten friendly schedule, Cook is looking forward to experiencing the Fratton roar.

He said: “A lot is made of when teams do well or badly in pre-season, but really it’s no indication of what will come on the opening day.

“You don’t get a crowd or an atmosphere like you’ll have for that first game – and I’m sure that will take care of itself at Fratton Park.”

Pompey will be without James Dunne (ankle), Kal Naismith (thigh) and Jack Whatmough (knee) against the Daggers, but Adam Barton and Adam McGurk could feature after recovering from injury.

Watch the thoughts of Cook and midfielder Michael Doyle on Saturday’s match below or visit Pompey PlayerHD to see the full interviews and plenty more great content.


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