Boss focused on Mansfield test
There was frustration around Fratton Park last Saturday when Pompey exited the FA Cup against Wycombe.
They also saw their Checkatrade Trophy hopes ended – despite beating Bristol Rovers – during the week, although it is fair to say the discontent was not quite so pronounced on that occasion.
It leaves Paul Cook’s side with just one thing left to play for this season – and it is what fans have been waiting a while for now.
The quest for promotion continues on Saturday when 13th-placed Mansfield visit the south coast.
And Cook is hoping Pompey can forget about recent home disappointments by picking up three points.
The Blues boss said: “When I sat down with Mark Catlin at the start of the campaign and went over how I would like it to pan out, an FA Cup run was very much on the agenda.
“Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to deliver that, but we did last season and then couldn’t deliver promotion.
“I’m very much hoping it’s a case of the roles being reversed this time around. There’s a clear pathway now to what we want to achieve.
“If you look at our last three away games you wonder why we have a problem. Then you look at our home form and you can see exactly why.
“We’ve had 15 league fixtures this season and within that you’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly.
“We must find a consistency that sees us improve our form by around 10 or 15 per cent – that would see us in a really good place.
“But Mansfield have got very strong players and have looked formidable away from home so far. There are threats all over the pitch.”
Cook also commented on the news that Pompey’s trip to Doncaster in January has been moved to a Thursday night for live television coverage.
He said: “I can’t grasp it. There’s absolutely no thought process for the supporters having to travel just after Christmas.
“How can Pompey fans be expected to travel up to Doncaster on a Thursday night? That’s my biggest gripe.”
Watch Cook’s thoughts on the game below or subscribe to Pompey PlayerHD for full pre-match content.