Cook savours his Fratton Park debut

Pompey boss Paul Cook applauds the Fratton faithful at the end of Saturday's game Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook applauds the Fratton faithful at the end of Saturday's game Picture: Joe Pepler
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PAUL COOK savoured the Fratton Park euphoria as his Pompey era kicked off with an impressive victory.

Kyle Bennett (two) and Gareth Evans netted debut goals in a comfortable victory over Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.

Watched by a crowd of 16,948, consisting of only 279 away followers, there was a special atmosphere in the Fratton Park sunshine for the League Two opener.

In a season in which the Blues are expected to challenge for promotion, it was the perfect start for the new managerial regime, which was installed in the summer.

And Cook, whose starting XI contained nine debutants, was delighted to get his time at Pompey off to a winning start.

He said: ‘It is just the first game, everyone will be quite euphoric about what we can and can’t do, and while there are a lot of games we know now we are three points nearer where we want to be.

I will never lower expectations, I don’t think it can be done, supporters have been suffering now for too long in terms of that and being told “We shouldn’t get beaten by these, etc”

Paul Cook

‘There will be bumps and bruises along the way and nobody knows that more than me. We must stay together and be strong.

‘Saturday was a great day but there is a long way to go.

‘I will never lower expectations, I don’t think it can be done. Supporters have been suffering now for too long in terms of that and being told “We shouldn’t get beaten by these, etc”.

‘My job is to manage everything and hopefully manage the team to a bit of success.

‘Saturday was a great, great day for myself. All my family were there. It was a great day for us all.’

- NEIL ALLEN