Boss looks ahead to Yeovil clash
Paul Cook has always insisted that his focus is on getting out of League Two.
And that view has not changed as Pompey prepare to get their Checkatrade Trophy campaign underway at Yeovil on Tuesday night (7.45pm kick-off).
The trip to Huish Park is the first of three group stage fixtures, with games against a Reading under-23 side and Bristol Rovers to follow in the rejigged competition.
Cook will be making changes against the Glovers, but still expects his side to produce a positive performance.
The Blues boss said: “We’ll always do what we feel is best for this club and the competition’s not high on my list of priorities.
“The league is our bread and butter, with the FA Cup second and this is now our third because we’re out of the League Cup.
“The changes have been made to benefit football by integrating the Premier League teams and whether I agree with that or not is irrelevant.
“There are arguments for and against it and, with the changes to the loan window, I’m sure the number of games will catch up with some teams.
“There’s a final at Wembley and that pot of the gold is great – it’s just about the damage it might do to you getting there.
“We’re lucky enough that we can carry a bigger squad than most because of the size of our club.
“We’ll make a few changes – there’s no doubt about that. But we still want to see an entertaining game of football and hopefully we’ll get the three points.”
Pompey are facing a Yeovil side who started the campaign with successive victories, but have failed to win since.
Cook said: “I watched them play at Salisbury in pre-season and they were absolutely excellent.
“They made a decent start to the campaign, but – as happens to most teams – they’ve hit a little patch now where they’ve lost a few in a row.
“Both managers will approach this game how they see fit, but I’m sure it will still be a good contest.”
Matt Clarke is expected to make his first appearance of the season, having recovered from a groin injury.
Cook said: “He came through training and if he wakes up fine on Tuesday then he’ll start the game, which will be a positive for us.”
Watch the manager’s thoughts on the game below or subscribe to Pompey PlayerHD for more pre-Yeovil content.