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Club News


23 December 2016

Boss looks ahead to Boxing Day clash

Paul Cook knows that Pompey have to adapt if they want to achieve automatic promotion this season.

They are seven points outside the top three ahead of a Boxing Day visit to bottom side Newport.

It is likely to be an attritional contest against a County outfit who are struggling to maintain their EFL status.

And Cook knows that his troops have be better at breaking down sides looking to frustrate their search for three points.

The Blues boss said: “Unfortunately, the teams above us are setting a fantastic pace and we have to say well done to them.

“We haven’t been able to bridge that gap as much as we would have liked and that’s what we’ve got to now concentrate on.

“It doesn’t worry me with 25 games of the season still to go, although logically our home form will be questioned at the moment.

“We go to Luton on a Tuesday night and there are two teams on the pitch trying to win a football match.

“But there are certain games where you haven’t got that and there is one side trying to stop the other from winning.

“That’s not an excuse – it’s just the way football is. So far we haven’t been able to adapt well enough.

“The lads are doing okay, but we know there must be an improvement if we want to put a run together and get into the top three.”

Newport’s Rodney Parade surface has come in for plenty of criticism this term and Cook knows it is something they will have to deal with.

He said: “The pitch is a big factor and I feel sorry for them because it’s had detrimental effect on their season with all the games that have been called off.

“We just have to try to remain professional if we want to achieve the result that we’re all eager to achieve.

“But the lads have been training well and we’re looking forward to the games over the busy Christmas period.”

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

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