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Club News


10 December 2015

Boss only concentrating on next game

Paul Cook is hoping his side will serve up a festive treat for the Fratton faithful this weekend.

Pompey host 20th-placed Hartlepool in their final home game before Christmas.

Their opponents have only won three times in League Two since the middle of August to slide down the table.

But Cook believes that boss Ronnie Moore performed a miracle to stop his side suffering relegation last term.

The Blues boss said: “We’ve got a run of tough games coming up over the Christmas period and we’re probably a little off where we want to be.

“But it will be a very difficult game for us on Saturday and that’s the test we’re focusing on right now.

“Hartlepool were the better team against Oxford the other week and were unfortunate to be beaten 1-0.

“It was a fantastic achievement by Ronnie and his staff to keep them up last season – to say they were written off would be an understatement.

“Building on that euphoria has probably been a bit difficult, but they’ll come here thinking it’s a match they can win.

“Ronnie’s got a proven track record and is a very astute manager who knows the game really well, so his side are sure to be difficult to beat.

“But we’ve got a good depth to our squad and are looking to reward our excellent fans with a victory."

Pompey have no new injury worries, but midfielder Gary Roberts has not yet fully recovered from an ankle injury. 

Cook said: “He’s fit – the physio says he’s not, but Gary says he is! He’s coming along well, but we’re not setting any dates.

“It’s been good to see him back on the grass this week and he hasn’t been in any pain at all, so fingers crossed.

“He’s certainly not making Saturday’s game, but then there’s a week until the next one, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

The younger players at Pompey will take centre stage on Tuesday night when Manchester City visit Fratton Park in the third round of the FA Youth Cup.

“It’ll be a great night for everyone connected with the youth set-up at our club and a showpiece occasion,” said Cook. “I’m sure the lads will get great backing from our supporters on the night.”

Watch Cook's thoughts on the game below or subscribe to Pompey PlayerHD for extended interviews with the manager and skipper Michael Doyle.

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