Boss reflects on Salisbury stalemate
Paul Cook saw plenty of familiar problems in Pompey’s 2-2 friendly draw at Salisbury.
But he will look to iron them out before they walk out for the League Two opener against Carlisle on August 6.
The visitors carved open plenty of chances at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium, although they only had goals from trialist Noel Hunt and Gary Roberts to show for their efforts.
And on each occasion they were pegged back from a corner, with first Justin Bennett and then Eddie Perrett doing the damage.
Cook, however, knows that results mean little at this stage of the year and there were aspects of the evening that pleased him.
The Blues boss said: “The heat meant it was a tough night for football, but we created a lot of chances and we should have put more of them away.
“Our Achilles heel is defending set-pieces as we all know and unfortunately we conceded two goals from corners again.
“We know we have to be better in both boxes this season. We have to score more goals – especially at home – and concede less.
“You’re always on a hiding to nothing when you come to these grounds and I think people get too high or too low in pre-season.
“To be fair to our players, we haven’t been working on tactics and shape yet – it’s about running and getting fit. We’ll look to do more now as we build up to the first game.
“It was good for the lads to get some more minutes under their belt and now we move on to play Bournemouth on Saturday.
“A lot of them played for 90 minutes and it was important for Michael Smith and Kyle Bennett to come on.
“They’ve been out injured for a bit now, we’ve got Gareth Evans and Matt Clarke coming along well, and Paul Jones should be alright for Saturday.
“It was a great night for Salisbury and the pitch was decent, but unfortunately we couldn’t put the chances away that should have won us the game.”
Watch Cook’s thoughts on the game below or subscribe to Pompey PlayerHD for full reaction from the manager and Roberts.