Boss feeling positive ahead of Crawley test
There is plenty for the Fratton faithful to be encouraged about as 2015 comes to an end.
Paul Cook has turned Pompey into genuine League Two promotion contenders in his first few months as manager.
They sit fourth in the table after 24 games of the season – four points adrift of a top three spot.
And ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Crawley, Cook believes that his side will improve further throughout 2016.
The Blues boss said: “We’re just past the halfway point and would everyone have been happy with fourth at the start of the year? Maybe, maybe not.
“But I feel that the team is playing well at the minute, even if we have taken only one point from the last six available.
“You know as manager that if we keep playing the way we have been, then we’ll pick up more points.
“All in all, we’re quite pleased with how 2015 went, but there’s a lot of hard work to come, that’s for sure.
“Success comes with a good work ethic, good players and good people running your football club.
“Luckily for me, I feel that we have those things in place at Pompey and the likelihood is that we will get better.”
Crawley set up to frustrate Pompey in a goalless draw in Sussex back in August, but Cook is unsure how they will approach Saturday’s contest.
He said: “The league’s got a defined feel to it, with certain teams looking to stave off relegation and others looking to break into the play-offs or achieve automatic promotion.
“But Crawley probably don’t fall into any of those categories – the top seven might be a bit unrealistic for them.
“They look very safe in mid-table and so they might come to Fratton Park and have a bit of a go at us and try to take a scalp.
“If Mark Yates tries to do that then good luck to him and if he comes for a 0-0 draw then good luck to him.
“One thing I do know is that he’s done a decent job in the short space of time that he’s been at Crawley.
“But hopefully we can start the new year with three points to give our supporters something to cheer.”
Watch Cook’s thoughts on the game below or subscribe to Pompey PlayerHD for extended interviews with the manager and Ben Davies.