Cook: We're going for Plymouth's jugular
PAUL COOK has laid down his attacking blueprint for play-off glory.
And the Pompey boss has underlined a conviction his players can handle the intensity of tomorrow’s Home Park showdown.
The play-off pressure is set to reach fever pitch for the second-leg clash in Devon, with a trip to Wembley the prize for the victors.
More of the same is anticipated after a white-hot first leg finished 2-2 at Fratton Park on Thursday.
Cook believes opposite number Derek Adams has a decision to make over how he approaches the game in front of expectant Pilgrims fans.
But he has made it clear his men will go for Plymouth’s jugular.
And the Blues manager has an unwavering belief in what they can achieve.
Cook said: ‘I think it will be a good game.
‘Plymouth have got a big decision to make. Either come on to us or sit off. It’s not my call. I don’t manage them.
‘We’re going to play. We’re going to go off our front foot and we’re going to attack.
‘We’re going to take the game to them from the first minute. Let’s get on with it.
‘We may get beat 4-0, but our fans know us now.
‘We have a great away record because we go away to win.
‘We don’t go away to sit back or counter-attack.
‘I believe if you’re going to be the best team and have the best players, you have to believe you are the best.
‘You can’t do that if you’re going to sit off someone and let them have it.
‘I believe we are a better team, that’s my honest opinion. It doesn’t mean we’re going through.
‘But I have great faith in my players and what they can do.’
Cook feels Pompey have to learn lessons from Thursday’s game, when they looked brittle after conceding shortly after Marc McNulty’s opener.
He knows his side have to be smarter in the way they handle such moments.
But he has no doubt about the ability of his players handling the occasion.
‘We don’t take disappointment well,’ said Cook.
‘When we go like that we go properly us! There’s no messing.
‘Plymouth score and it’s 1-1, but then we have the ability to look like we’re going to concede again and again.
‘Yet when we bring sanity back we look a controlled team.
‘That’s how we have to play the game.
‘I don’t think going to Plymouth will faze our players. I genuinely don’t.
‘If we’re not deemed good enough, that’s fair enough with me.
‘I like to think I have good manners when we get beat, but I don’t think the game will faze us.
‘It’s a tough game, there’s no getting away from it.
‘By the time the ref blows the whistle at the end both teams will know they’ve been in a game – but what a prize.’