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COOK: PLAY WITHOUT FEAR

26 February 2016

Boss looks ahead to Cambridge clash

Paul Cook has urged his side to play with freedom against Cambridge this weekend.

A lacklustre midweek defeat at Barnet led to Pompey dropping out of the League Two play-off places.

Saturday’s clash at Fratton Park is part of a hectic run of seven games in the space of just three weeks.

But Cook is confident that his troops can rise back up the table and has called for a united front.

The Blues boss said: “We’re having a blip – there’s no getting away from that. We’re not doing as well as everyone would like us to.

“But we’ve got belief in what we do and we don’t care about anyone else – we’re just concerned about what we do.

“We’re in our lowest league position this season and we want to be higher, but we’ve got 15 games to go.

“I feel that unity at this club is important for everyone and if we’re going to have any success then we must be together.

“There are highs and lows and it’s about managing your disappointment and playing without fear.

“The dressing room after our games against Morecambe and Barnet were not happy places to be, but you must have a good working environment.”

Cambridge are three points outside the top seven and led by former Pompey midfielder Shaun Derry.

Cook said: “He’s done a fantastic job there and the education he had at Notts County is standing him in good stead.

“He’s put Cambridge in with a realistic chance of being in the play-offs and that’s great credit to him.”

Joint top scorer Gary Roberts is a doubt for Saturday’s game after injuring his hamstring at The Hive.

Cook said: “He’s shown good signs in the past few weeks of being the player that I know he is.

“The Pompey fans haven’t seen the best of Gary yet, but there’s plenty of time left for that to change.”

Watch Cook’s thoughts on the game below or subscribe to Pompey PlayerHD for extended interviews with the manager and Danny Hollands.


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