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COOK: A BALANCING ACT

29 October 2015

Boss wants Blues to be sharp at both ends of the pitch

With Pompey sitting second in the League Two table, there is not too much to be concerned about.

But Paul Cook concedes that his side are not quite firing on all cylinders at the minute.

After impressing with their attacking vigour earlier in the campaign, they have managed just two goals in the last three games.

That run has seen just one go in at the other end, however, and Cook is still striving to find the right balance.

The Blues boss said: “Even though I’m an attack-minded manager, the solidity of our side has been very good recently.

“If you’re looking to get forward a lot then that has to be built on a solid base, which we haven’t necessarily had in the past.

“But we nullified Mansfield last Saturday and they had no attempts on target, while it was a similar story against Stevenage before that.

“Common sense tells us that we also have to be stronger at the other end of the pitch – I’m not a stupid person.

“But the mentality of the lads and the fact that we’ve lost once in 15 games has really pleased me.

“I want us to attack, be solid, play with a certain style – we’re ticking some of the boxes, but we’re not ticking them all. So it’s our job to improve as much as we can.”

Pompey will look to continue their superb away form when they visit 16th-placed Notts County this weekend.

Cook said: “Like every team they would have had highs and lows, but the quality of their squad is probably as good as any side in the league.

“They’ve got some fantastic players with plenty of experience and I’m sure it’s going to be a tough game.”

Adam McGurk could return against Notts County following an ankle injury, while Gareth Evans has completed his three-match suspension.

Cook said: “It’s good to have Adam and Gareth back, but Gary Roberts will still be out for a couple of weeks with his injury.

“It was a credit to him that he had played on with it because the ankle was very swollen.”

Watch Cook’s thoughts on the game below or subscribe to Pompey PlayerHD for extended interviews with the manager and Brian Murphy.


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