Paul Cook: Magpies clash can define Pompey season
Paul Cook believes Notts County can be the defining moment in Pompey's season.
And the Blues boss has laid it on the line to his men that now’s the time for actions not words as they go into a critical Easter period.
Cook’s men take on the Magpies today with both the play-off and automatic promotion battles wide open in League Two.
But he feels it’s now about his players giving the Fratton faithful the conviction they can deliver that success.
The Scouser is adamant doing that can create a powerful impetus with nine games to go.
Cook said: ‘It’s all about us. We can’t be looking at what other teams do and don’t do.
‘We’ve got to win our own games and it’s that which guarantees the league looks good. We must win football games now.
‘It’s not about how we play, it’s not about how we speak. It’s about our actions.
‘I feel this can be a defining game. I really believe our supporters need to see us give them that belief we can get promoted.
‘We need to give our supporters that belief to support us on that run-in. That’s why this is an important game.
‘Momentum can be generated in a blink. That’s my big thing in football.
‘That doesn’t come from what you say or what the lads say, it’s what you do.
‘We still have it in us to carry ourselves over the line. I’m not so sure some of the other clubs have that.
‘Me telling everyone will only heighten the pressure on the players.
‘What I must do is tell them, they must believe and then we go out and do it.’
Cook can sense the heat rising as the League Two campaign really gets down to business time.
And he feels that will now be seen in the manner sides react to the pressure mounting.
The 49-year-old has an unwavering belief in his players however to handle what is thrown at them.
Cook said: ‘It’s about putting all our learning curves into our future games.
‘They can and the lads have had a really good week of that.
‘To lose three away games is a fantastic record. To lose seven games is a good record. Some of the stats are good things but now it’s about what they do.
‘As a group of players they have a chance to achieve success.
‘With nine games to go they must be fully focused on that.
‘One of my big things is the pressure. You will see more red cards now. You’ll see more big decisions and mistakes in games.
‘A lot of teams are going to create that pressure for ourselves.
‘When you play for Portsmouth Football Club there is always a pressure.
‘We’ve had to deal with that all year. At times we’ve dealt with that fantastically well and others in one or two games we haven’t dealt with it well enough.
‘I believe we have enough. I genuinely have great faith in this group of players that we can be a team who finishes this season very strongly.
‘We can be a team who gain more points than most people.’