Boss looking forward to Accrington clash
This weekend sees a clash between two clubs fighting it out for League Two promotion.
But Pompey and Accrington will put those ambitions to one side on Saturday and look to progress to the third round of the Emirates FA Cup.
It will be the second time they have clashed at Fratton Park this season, with a league meeting in September ending goalless.
And Paul Cook was full of praise for the side that he used to play for and manage.
The Blues boss said: “We’re very much looking forward to the game and I think people now know how strong Accrington are.
“In my opinion, it’s one of the ties of the round because it’s two good footballing teams going up against each other.
“It’ll be a tough test for us because I’ve seen them on a few occasions and they’re clearly one of the best teams in the league, without a shadow of a doubt.
“That’s down to their recruitment of players – as well as the ones they already had in the squad – and the manager.
“You don’t get manager of the year awards after 20 games, but if John Coleman can sustain their current form then it will be quite an obvious choice.
“It’s a great club that is very well run and means a lot to the people of Accrington. What they lack in numbers, they certainly make up for in loyalty to their side.
“They sit fourth in the league and will probably be looking to finish higher than that come the end of the season.
“We’ve had a good week in training to prepare for the tie and will certainly give Accrington the respect they deserve – as we do with every side we face.”
Caolan Lavery and Marc McNulty have linked up well together in recent weeks, but the former is not eligible to feature on Saturday.
Cook said: “That partnership is looking good and unfortunately we won’t have it on Saturday, but we’ll just move on.
“We’ve got depth in our squad and the team we put out will be a team that we believe can win the game.”
Watch Cook’s thoughts on the game below or subscribe to Pompey PlayerHD for extended interviews with the manager and Enda Stevens. Click here to secure your seat for Saturday’s game.