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COOK: PLAYERS DON'T DESERVE CRITICISM

17 December 2016

Boss reflects on Hartlepool draw

It was not a result that sent fans pouring out of Fratton Park full of Christmas cheer.

But Paul Cook was more upset by the result rather than the performance following a goalless draw with Hartlepool.

The visitors played for – and collected – a point with a display that was full of grit, if short on ambition.

United keeper Trevor Carson – a former Pompey loanee – was the star man with superb saves to deny Michael Smith, Conor Chaplin and Michael Doyle.

And Cook was left frustrated that there was ultimately no breakthrough, although satisfied that his side never allowed their opponents to threaten.

The Blues boss said: “We’re disappointed because we’ve dropped points at home, but it’s a performance that is acceptable.

“I’m not saying it’s good enough or that we should be patting ourselves on the back, but we certainly never looked in danger of losing.

“We put enough crosses into their box and worked their keeper enough to win a couple of games.

“Unfortunately we haven’t been able to do that, but I won’t offer any criticism to our players after that.

“We’ve been guilty of giving teams soft goals at Fratton Park in the past, but not this time.

“It was always just a case of whether we could score and with the firepower we’ve got there can be no excuses offered when we don’t.

“We can all say that their keeper was man-of-the-match, but that’s part and parcel of the game.

“Hartlepool have had a bad run and I’m sure everyone wrote them off, but they’ve come away with a fantastic point.

“Every team will raise their game when they come here to face us and we just have to get on with it.”

Pompey are not in action again until their Boxing Day visit to Newport, which heralds a run of four fixtures in 10 days.

Cook said: “I love the football that’s played over the Christmas period and we’ll certainly have to utilise our squad, but we’re looking to be competitive in every game.”

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


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