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6 August 2016

Boss reflects on opening day draw

Pompey were left frustrated after they fell short in their attempts to open the season with a win.

But Paul Cook saw plenty of positives in a 1-1 draw with a stubborn Carlisle side at Fratton Park.

Reggie Lambe had fired the visitors ahead before Jamie Devitt was dismissed for collecting a couple of yellow cards.

Carl Baker then scored on his debut just before the break, but – despite an abundance of chances – the hosts could not find another goal, with keeper Mark Gillespie making a string of superb saves.

And Cook was happy to see his troops carve out so many openings, even if they had to settle for just a point.

The Blues boss said: “I thought we played well up until Carlisle scored and I thought we played well afterwards.

“Carl was outstanding, but all of the lads who made their debut were good and will be pleased to get that first game under their belt.

“They had a great introduction to the atmosphere at Fratton Park and also the pressure that we’re going to be under all season to break teams down.

“Carlisle had one opening and scored from it, so we have to make sure that we don’t concede from those situations.

“Any logical person would be able to tell you that we created enough chances to win more than one game.

“We had some good ones right after half-time and we have to score them because that would have seen Carlisle off.

“Last year we won 3-0 on the opening day and went off celebrating, but now we haven’t and we just move on to the next one.”

A crowd of more than 17,500 packed into Fratton Park to see the start of the 2016/17 campaign.

Cook said: “The biggest plus point was the support that we received and the fans are an absolute credit to this club.”

Watch the manager’s thoughts on the game below or subscribe to Pompey PlayerHD for full post-match reaction.

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