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COOK: PLAY LIKE YOUR LIVES DEPEND ON IT

27 September 2016

Boss demands more after Blackpool loss

Scintillating at home, sloppy on the road.

It is already becoming a familiar tale of Pompey’s season with more than seven months still to go.

Confidence was soaring after Saturday’s 5-1 Fratton thrashing of Barnet, but the mood was deflated at Blackpool just a few days later.

Kelvin’s Mellor header saw them fall behind inside a mostly-empty Bloomfield Road, although a stunning over-head strike from Conor Chaplin lifted the hardy band of travelling supporters.

Pompey presented their hosts with two goals after the interval, however, with Brad Potts and Kyle Vassell gleefully accepting the invitations.

And Paul Cook wants to see a greater desire from his players when they leave the comfortable surroundings of Fratton Park.

The Blues boss said: “I thought we started quite well, but games change on goals and Blackpool didn’t have to do much to score them.

“We got in at half-time with the score at 1-1 and if we’ve got anything about us, we’ll go on to win the match.

“But within a few minutes of the second half, we get caught out playing short free-kicks to each other and are soon 2-1 down.

“It’s tough, it really us. The same players that lift us at Fratton Park on Saturday leave us feeling so flat on Tuesday.

“You win together and you lose together, but we can’t offer ourselves up like that when we’re away from home.

“We’re free-scoring at home, but Conor’s goal and a penalty aside, we’re not doing it away – I can only put it down to work ethic and desire.

“Did we play like our lives depended on it? I would suggest not. Do I need to get more out of those players? Of course I do.

“Conor’s such a bright light in our team and that’s there for all to see, but we’re disappointed with the result, so I can’t really take any positives.

“But if we can keep doing what we’re doing at home and also improve when we’re away, then there won’t be an issue.”

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