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COOK: DON'T GET TOO HIGH

24 November 2016

Boss staying grounded ahead of Stevenage test

Pompey are unbeaten in four league matches and have moved up to fourth spot in the League Two standings.

An impressive victory at Luton in midweek means they have taken 10 points from the last 12 available.

But Paul Cook is not about to get carried away ahead of Stevenage’s visit to Fratton Park on Saturday.

Boro are 16th in the table, but only five points adrift of the play-off spots with two games in hand on most sides in the division.

And Cook knows that with 28 games still to play this season, there is no time to feel complacent.

The Blues boss said: “It’s pointless getting too high if we keep letting ourselves get knocked down.

“The message to everyone is just let’s look forward to the next game and let’s try our best to get three more points.

“We created as many clear-cut chances at Cheltenham last Saturday as we have in any away game and yet we didn’t win.

“So you can’t let the emotions of winning and losing get to you too much, although you’ll always get a bit excited when you beat one your closest rivals in the league.

“The reality is that there’s still a long way to go for everyone this season and so many points to play for.”

Pompey enjoyed an open contest at Kenilworth Road, but Cook is unsure how Stevenage will approach this weekend’s fixture.

He said: “At Luton there were two teams on the pitch who wanted to win and it was a style that suited us, but the opposition will also dictate what happens.

“I can’t tell people how Stevenage will play – just as I can’t tell you how Newport or Yeovil will play – but we can’t let that affect us.

“Stevenage are well-organised – as are all sides these days. But how they choose to line up is not my concern.

“The reality is that there are no easy games in this league, so everyone should look over their shoulder and not expect anything.”

Michael Smith was outstanding against Luton, but the return of Conor Chaplin from suspension means that Cook has options up front.

He said: “We’ve got a strong squad with different kinds of ammunition and none more potent than Conor, who’s an outstanding young talent.

“We’re very lucky that we’ve got a lot of good players and we’ll select the team that we feel is right for us on Saturday.”

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


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