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22 September 2016

Boss looks ahead to Barnet clash

There would have been plenty of glum faces making their way down the M6 on Saturday evening.

But Pompey’s 1-0 defeat at Accrington should probably be taken in context.

They had previously won four successive league matches to climb up to second in the fourth tier table.

Now Paul Cook wants to put the disappointment to one side and focus on beating Barnet this weekend.

The Blues boss said: “You just move on – you have to. If all managers could give you the reason why they lost, we’d be in charge of sides like Juventus or AC Milan.

“My job is to bear the brunt of the criticism and you have to react the same way you would following a win – you park it quickly and prepare for the next one.

“It’s something you learn in football. Of course you suffer following a loss and when you’re at a side like Pompey, a draw can often feel like a defeat.

“I’m constantly trying to improve as a manager, while also trying to make sure this team improves.

“We fired rapidly with those four wins, but now we’ve stuttered again – that’s football and it’s going to happen.”

Former Pompey midfielder Martin Allen will lead his Bees side to Fratton Park, having yet to suffer an away defeat this season.

Cook said: “He did a fantastic job to get them back into the Football League and they’ve got a strong, well-balanced team.

“He’s been a manager for quite a few years now and has proven his worth at a number of different clubs. He’s passionate about football and I think that’s a good thing.

“It’s a difficult game for us, but then so is every game in this league. It’s certainly one we’re looking forward to.”

Pompey beat Newport 4-1 in a training ground reserve match earlier in the week and Cook was pleased with the performance.

He said: “It was a really good game with plenty of benefits for us – Matt Clarke got more minutes, Michael Smith came on and scored twice, Conor Chaplin got another goal. That certainly opened our eyes to a few different things.”

Tickets are still available for Saturday’s clash with Barnet. Click here to secure your seat.

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

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