Boss reflects on Stevenage defeat
Fratton Park was full of positivity ahead of Pompey’s clash with Stevenage.
An impressive display at Luton earlier in the week had brought the automatic promotion places within touching distance.
But the mood had distinctly soured by the time referee Ben Toner blew the final whistle to signal a 2-1 victory for the visitors.
Steven Schumacher and Matt Godden both struck within five second half minutes, while Michael Smith’s late strike was nothing more than a consolation.
Paul Cook had no excuses for a poor display from Pompey and believes the criticism they will receive is justified.
The Blues boss said: “After all the positive things that were said about us on Tuesday night, everything that is said about us now will be negative.
“I really felt we’d play well in front of a massive crowd and go marching on to Grimsby, but unfortunately that hasn’t happened.
“In my opinion, we can’t offer up anything apart from to agree with the criticism that comes our way.
“I’m the manager so I’ll always take the blame – that’s the name of the game. But the players take us to a place where we believe in them and then take us to another place where we don’t.
“These are the kind of games that you have to win if you want to be promoted automatically. At the minute we’ve got an ability to self-implode and that was highlighted.
“As the game wore on all our bad habits came out – how can we look so strong defensively in the last four games and then suddenly look so fragile?
“Great credit to Stevenage and they deserve all the plaudits for winning the game, while we didn’t do anything near enough to get the points.
“We’re all disappointed and now we’ve got a two-week break. We wanted to go into it on a high, but instead we go in on a massive low.
“However, the reality is that we’re still fourth in the league and there’s a long way to go, so we have to keep going.”
Watch Cook’s thoughts on the game below or subscribe to Pompey PlayerHD for full post-match coverage.