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17 July 2015

Blues boss on Bognor draw

Paul Cook knows there is still plenty of hard graft required before the opening league match against Dagenham & Redbridge.

Pompey’s pre-season programme continued with a 1-1 draw against Bognor at Nyewood Lane.

Matt Tubbs grabbed an early opener following excellent build-up play from Michael Doyle and Enda Stevens.

But Alfie Rutherford capitalised on some poor defending to fire the non-league side level after the interval.

And Cook wants to see more from his troops in their remaining friendly matches – starting at Gosport on Saturday.

The Blues boss said: “I thought we were disappointing, but I think we all realise that there’s still a lot of work to be done.

“Everything’s still a bit new to the players and we just have to work a bit harder.

“We need to score goals and we need to create chances – I didn’t see us create too much in the second half.

“We haven’t been able to keep a clean sheet in two games now, so there are areas we need to improve at both ends of the pitch.

“My message to the players will stay in the dressing room, but we were well supported and I’m not sure we showed enough appetite.

“We started the game really well and looked bright, so I think we probably slipped into a bit of complacency.

“But I thought Bognor were excellent. They gave us a good test and credit to them for that.

“We’re working our way towards that Dagenham game – that’s the big one. The results don’t mean too much at this stage.”

Gary Roberts suffered a knee injury during the first half and did not emerge after the break, but Cook insists it is too early to know how long the midfielder will be out.

He said: “We’re disappointed, but that’s a part of football and we’ll just have to wait and see how it is.”

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