Pompey 0 Newport County 3: Cook's apology
PAUL COOK apologised to Pompey supporters and admitted: We've let you down.
The Blues boss saw his side crash to a depressing 3-0 loss to Newport County on Saturday, in a match he branded the biggest of his team’s campaign.
That dealt a blow to hopes of automatic promotion as the impetus built from three wins and a draw drained out of the team.
Cook was left hurting at the manner of the defeat, with hopes high of a flying run after the midweek demolition of promotion rivals Accrington Stanley.
He said: ‘We’ve let our supporters down so badly it’s untrue.
‘We didn’t turn up. That was the biggest game of our season.
‘Everyone was feeling great walking around the training ground Thursday and Friday.
‘It was a different atmosphere. The weather had changed and it felt like everything was going to happen.
‘Well, the weather has changed back the other way for us now.
‘We all felt the same going in, but we weren’t at it.
‘So we hold our hands up and apologise.
‘It’s so disappointing because we all felt there was a run in us.
‘That was the biggest thing for us after the Accrington performance.
‘But, unfortunately, we haven’t got that run in us yet.
‘I think that is where we’re at as a team and club.
‘On our day we’re very good, but we’re inconsistent.
‘We don’t put those days together often enough at the minute to be a team who goes and gets promoted.’
Referee Ben Toner took centre stage when he sent off Gary Roberts for a second yellow card for diving after 59 minutes.
That followed a cheap caution for a swipe at Medy Elito with little danger looming.
Cook wouldn’t be drawn into a debate on the dismissal, but knows Pompey’s inconsistency is hurting them.
That was seen as they failed to close the gap on the top three, despite defeats for Oxford United and Plymouth.
Cook said: ‘We’ll look at results tonight and get a bit of belief.
‘The only belief you get though is from how you play yourself. We haven’t played well.
‘In the end when you are in League Two, whether managing or playing, we’re all inconsistent.
‘The teams who get consistency are the ones who get promoted.
‘Northampton have done great and others have been on good runs. We’ve been consistently inconsistent.
‘We have never put a sustained run where everyone thinks “watch Portsmouth”.
‘We offered signs of that this week, and we’ve gone right back now.
‘I could slag people off, but I’m not going to do that.
‘We must get more consistency and, to do that, we must educate the players.’