Pompey boss acts to silence below-par players

Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler

Fuming Paul Cook stepped in to stop his players speaking to the media following Pompey’s disappointing draw at Field Mill.

The Blues lost further ground in the hunt for automatic promotion following Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Mansfield.

A Ryan Tafazolli own goal cancelled out Matt Green’s opener in a first-half which also saw Marc McNulty miss from the penalty spot.

It was a second successive poor display from the visitors, following the previous weekend’s defeat to Newport County.

Afterwards, an angry Cook delivered a dressing down to his out-of-sorts side in the away changing room.

He then spent time on his own on the Mansfield pitch before speaking to chairman Iain McInnes and chief executive Mark Catlin.

Upon his return, the Pompey boss insisted Michael Smith and Christian Burgess did not carry out organised post-match media duties.

It is the first time during his ongoing 45-game tenure Cook has instructed his players not to talk following a fixture.

When asked by The News over the reason for his decision, he replied: ‘The players aren’t speaking, we do too much talking in my opinion.’

Predecessors Harry Redknapp, Steve Cotterill and Andy Awford on occasions refused to let players talk after a game following a disappointing result.

Yet such actions remain a largely rare occurrence at Pompey.

Regardless, the Blues’ point keeps them in sixth spot, now five points adrift of Bristol Rovers in the final automatic promotion spot.

They host Notts County on Good Friday. The Magpies yesterday appointed Mark Cooper as boss after sacking Jamie Fullarton on Saturday.