PAUL COOK warned Crawley of Pompey’s increased fire-power.
But the Blues boss admitted he has no idea of whether Mark Yates’ side will ‘park the bus’ at Fratton Park tomorrow.
Crawley opted for a defensive approach at the Broadfield Stadium in the 0-0 draw in September.
Pompey couldn’t break them down on that occasion, and it was a similar story against Luton Town on Monday.
That was, frustratingly, the fifth 0-0 home draw of the season.
Cook was content with the level of performance from his side then, despite the lack of goals.
we’ve got a lot more cutting edge now.Paul Cool
And with Marc McNulty and Caolan Lavery added to his ranks, he believes there is now a potency his side didn’t previously possess.
Cook said: ‘We’ve got a lot more cutting edge now.
‘You only have to look at training yesterday to realise that.
‘We’ve got a lot of tools now we didn’t have earlier in the season.
‘That’s why Luton did well to go away with a 0-0. Fair play to them for doing that.
‘They deserved to get a 0-0 by how hard they worked.
Though, on another day, we would have put them away.
‘Crawley have had a good season.
‘In my opinion they could come here and have a free hit.
‘If they want to be defensive that’s Mark (Yates’) decision.
‘Or he could come down and see us as a scalp.
‘Whatever happens, happens, but they’ve had a good season regardless from where they were.’
Pompey have been in winning positions on five occasions this season and failed to see out games.
Leyton Orient, on Boxing Day, was the most recent example of that – and it’s a source of frustration for Cook.
He said: ‘The first goal leads to everything being fine.
‘If you look at Hartlepool, they came on to us after the goal and we didn’t have to do a great deal more to score.
‘That’s the disappointing thing this season that we’ve taken the lead in too many games and not gone on to win.
‘The hard part is taking the lead. Once you score you can guarantee they will come on to you more than they should.
‘They are then leaving themselves open for us.
‘That’s perfect for us with the likes of Bennett, Evans and McNulty, who can hurt you.
‘There would have been too many spaces for us to plug against us against Orient.
‘But we found ourselves at 1-1 and down to 10 men. In a blink we’d given up momentum on teams above us.’
– JORDAN CROSS