Paul Cook: Pompey's message to League Two
Paul Cook surveyed Pompey's brutal dismantling of rivals Accrington Stanley and insisted: That's a message to League Two.
The Blues produced one of their finest displays under the current regime, running out 3-1 winners last night.
Kyle Bennett, Michael Doyle and a Matty Pearson own goal condemned John Coleman’s side to their first home defeat since October.
The victory was fully deserved from a Pompey side who have now collected 10 points from a possible 12.
It also lifted them into fourth spot – six points adrift of second place.
And Cook believes his impressive side can turn heads.
He said: ‘I just think it sends out a message to everyone.
‘That is what a performance is all about. We passed the ball really well and were immaculate in that first half, it was a great display.
‘Accrington is a difficult place.
‘They haven’t been beaten at home for a long, long time.
‘Actually they weren’t just beaten last night, let’s have it right.
‘In the first half of the game there looked a gulf in class between the two teams and I am delighted with that.
‘That’s now six points away from Plymouth and level on games, while they have still to come to our place.
‘Plymouth are at Accrington on Saturday, it might be different Saturday night, who knows?
‘If it isn’t, we have got to keep being a club that wants to get better and stronger and I feel that is within us now.
‘It is going for us. Fratton Park will be rocking on Saturday against Newport because we have to win.
‘If we do that and Accrington respond and beat Plymouth, the league table will look great for us all.
‘I couldn’t be any happier as manager of a football club than I am now because I know the progression we are trying to make and that’s the most important thing.
‘Why shouldn’t we believe? That’s the nature of the game. Just keep believing.
‘Just keep going. It is a benchmark this year, where we can finish no-one knows.
‘If we play like we did in the first half, though, we won’t go far short.
‘Yet 10 days ago people didn’t think we were going into the play-offs. Then 10 days later they think we are going up!’
Suddenly the momentum is with Pompey, who are eyeing Oxford United and Plymouth in the automatic promotion spots.
And on Saturday they host Newport County.
Cook added: ‘I was disappointed with Accrington’s goal if the truth be known but you can’t complain.
‘We have got to respect Accrington as a team, as a club, and we were good.
‘We have come to a lot of away fixtures and people don’t realise that a point is important. Gary Roberts’ goal at Yeovil was massive.
‘Now all of a sudden the play-offs look great for us.’