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19 August 2016

Boss looks ahead to Colchester test

It is not the start to the 2016/17 campaign that Pompey fans would have wanted.

But ahead of Saturday’s clash with Colchester, Paul Cook does not believe his side are too far away from hitting their stride.

Draws against Carlisle and Crewe were followed by a first league defeat at Morecambe earlier in the week.

That has led to calls for a switch of formation from some supporters, although Cook is not sure that will provide an instant solution.

The Blues boss said: “Everybody clamours for a change of system, but they actually just want to see you win.

“People will judge the system as what’s stopping us, but we’ve had 25 attempts in just two of our games.

“We feel that there’s not a lot wrong, but we also feel that there is something wrong – common sense would tell you that.

“My job as manager is to keep the sanity and also make sure that we start picking up some more points.

“There’s a bit of pressure on us now to lift the fans and it’s important we do that over the next few weeks.

“I’m not sure what you can read into a league table after three games, but we have to concentrate on getting ourselves up and running.

“Every manager is scrutinised very quickly these days and when you’re at a club this size we will come under pressure.

“The reality is that we are promotion favourites, but nobody’s promoted in October or November, let alone after three matches. But we must find our feet quickly – that’s for sure.”

Colchester visit Fratton Park having collected seven points from a possible nine as they aim to bounce back from last season’s relegation.

Cook said: “They’ve had a decent start. I know the manager John McGreal very well from when we played together at Tranmere and it will be great to see him.

“Colchester have got some fine players and it will be a tough game for us, but it’s one I’m looking forward to.

“They’re capable of scoring a lot of goals, but every team in this league has their strengths and weaknesses.

“Gone are the days where you can just turn up and beat certain teams because everyone’s well organised.”

Watch Cook’s thoughts on the game below or subscribe to Pompey PlayerHD for full pre-Colchester content.

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