Boss savours Barnet rout
A week is a long time in football.
As Pompey cruised to a 5-1 victory over Barnet at a buoyant Fratton Park, it was hard to believe that seven days earlier the emotions had been completely different.
But that defeat at Accrington was firmly swept aside, as a rampant Blues rediscovered their clinical touch.
Recovering from John Akinde’s penalty for the visitors, they produced an attacking display full of swagger to move back up to second spot in the League Two table.
Conor Chaplin, Gary Roberts, Carl Baker, Milan Lalkovic and Danny Rose all found the target on an afternoon to savour.
Pompey could even afford to see a Roberts penalty saved and Paul Cook was delighted with the overall display.
The Blues boss said: “You could see the quality in our team – a lot of those players were also on the pitch last week.
“It’s not about individuals, it’s about the team and they all deserve the plaudits for that performance.
“We look a very strong side at home, although our away form isn’t as strong and we’ll keep addressing that.
“We got in great areas and opened them up a few times before giving the penalty away.
“Martin Allen does a fantastic job wherever he is and when his sides go ahead, you’re going to have to work hard, but our players showed a lot of character.
“We’ve gone behind in our last two home games, but grew into each one and have scored a lot of goals.
“When you play well and try to do the right things, the right things happen. When you’re in the ascendency the opposition have to come forward more and they leave more gaps.
“We got a lot of criticism last week and some of it was unfair, but we’ve moved on and done well.
“We’re disappointed that Gary missed the penalty because he would have wanted that so much.
“He loves his football and was one of those sobbing in the dressing room when we lost at Plymouth in the play-offs. It means a lot to these players.
“I had the worst journey back last week. I wouldn’t talk to anyone on the coach or let them speak, but now we’ve won 5-1 and everything’s great – it’s a week in the life of football.”
There was plenty of happy faces around Fratton Park before kick-off when Chaplin was named in the side and he responded with the equalising goal.
Cook said: “There’s all kind of debate about why I don’t start him, but he’s going to have a fantastic football career.
“My job’s to manage him well and we feel there are certain times for him to play. He’s such a fans’ favourite and rightly so.”
Watch Cook’s thoughts on the game below or subscribe to Pompey PlayerHD for full post-Barnet video content.