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16 May 2016

Boss reflects on play-off defeat

Plymouth deserve their place in the League Two play-off final.

That was the honest assessment of Paul Cook after seeing his side miss out on a place in the Wembley showpiece.

A stoppage-time Peter Hartley header ensured that it was the Devon club who will face either Accrington or AFC Wimbledon on May 30.

Cook conceded that his side did not do enough to win the tie, but was still proud of his players. 

The Blues boss said: “It’s been tough and every message you get to lift you up just makes you feel worse.

“But the reality after a long, hard season is that we fell short and ultimately couldn’t see it through.

“We did our best on the day and unfortunately it just wasn’t good enough. We were on our knees and Plymouth sensed that.

“Our players didn’t leave anything out on the pitch – we just didn’t have enough to get home.

“But I couldn’t ask for any more from them – and I certainly couldn’t ask for any more from our supporters.

“I wish Plymouth well, I really do – it will be a great day out for them at Wembley at the end of the month.”

Pompey’s cause was not helped by injuries to Gareth Evans and Danny Hollands, with the pair both limping off before half-time.

Cook said: “They’re terrifically fit boys and have their markers for set-pieces, so to lose them both was tough.

“Ben Davies also really needed to come off, while Michael Doyle had a knock and Kyle Bennett showed great courage to stay out on the pitch.

“It’s a disappointing thing as a manager when you’re unable to help your players.

“But I have to say I felt that Plymouth deserved to score because they were coming on to us strongly and we were struggling to deal with balls into our box.”

Watch Cook’s thoughts on the game below or subscribe to Pompey PlayerHD for the full interview.

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