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COOK STAYING GROUNDED

14 March 2017

Boss not getting carried away by Grimsby rout

There was a celebratory mood sweeping around Fratton Park.

Pompey were coasting to victory over Grimsby following first half strikes from Kyle Bennett, Danny Rose and Carl Baker, while Kal Naismith added a fourth goal just after the interval.

Fans sang songs about promotion and heaped praise upon the stars who clinically dismantled the Mariners.

But one man refused to get swept away in a tidal wave of emotion, for Paul Cook knows there is still work to be done.

The Blues boss said: “The players have done really well to put this club in a fantastic position with nine games to go.

“The excitement’s building around the place and that’s what we’re all involved in football for.

“We played really well, but it’s just three points and there is so much still to play for – I’ve been around these leagues long enough to know there can be twists and turns.

“I was lucky enough to be in Istanbul (for the 2005 Champions League final) and the game was dead and buried, but Liverpool came home as European champions.

“We’ve given ourselves a realistic chance of automatic promotion, but if you get ahead of yourself then you can end up in trouble. What have we done so far? Absolutely nothing.

“Confidence is everything in football and our lads have that little swagger at the minute, but we haven’t achieved anything yet.

“We’ve played really well and we deserve some plaudits for that, but we’ll just move on to Stevenage now.

“The fans are allowed to get excited, though, and it’s nice to send them home with a smile on their face.”

Cook was delighted that Pompey’s opponents refused to take a defensive stance, but knows that will not always be the case.

He said: “Grimsby were excellent in the opening stages, but then we took control, which is what I expect us to do.

“They came here to have a game of football and we’ve struggled this season against teams who don’t.

“That’s an Achilles heel for us and can result in criticism. We can’t always guarantee games will be open and have to work hard at the other side of the game.”

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


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