POMPEY TO SLEEP,
Boring draw is not good
PORTSMOUTH manager Paul Cook admitted his side’s performance was boring after a quality-stricken goalless draw with Accrington.
Pompey continued their unbeaten start to their third season in the fourth tier but struggled to penetrate an attractive Stanley team.
Cook was taking on the club he ended his playing career at but didn’t pack any punches when describing his current line-ups’ performance.
Cook said: “I sent our fans home asleep. You don’t play well every week. Football’s a tough industry, and sometimes players don’t play well.”
It all could have been very different if Michael Doyle’s chance from his own half drifted the right side of the post, with Jason Mooney a spectator outside his box.
Chances were at a premium throughout but the whole ground thought Terry Gornell’s first-half bullet header drifted the wrong side of the post.
Jayden Stockley slid a volley just over the bar from a Kyle Bennett corner before Bennett fed Gary Roberts who twisted and turned before forcing Mooney into a save.
Midfield enforcer Nigel Atangana attempted a long-range blast into the bottom corner, but after striking Bennett on the backside he saw his effort trickle wide.
Cook switched keepers for the second half, with original shotstopper Brian Murphy picking up a groin injury, and his replacement Paul Jones took ten minutes to find his first save – an excellent dive to block Sean McConville’s one-on-one effort.
The home side piled on strikers in search of a win but Conor Chaplin took too long before shooting.
And fellow sub Matt Tubbs couldn’t make it two late winners in a week when Mooney scampered across his line to push away his over head kick.
Cook added: “It’s a very disappointing game for us, very itty bitty.
“I thought in the second half we might come out and take control, dominate them and create chances, which was everything we didn’t do.
“Accrington were full value for the draw and had some very good individual players on the day and unfortunately we disappointed.
“We’ve got players in the team who are creative and they haven’t played well.
“To say we deserved to win would be lying so I am happy to shake hands with the draw and move on.
“Not many teams have good days every day, and we will pick ourselves up and bounce back.
“It was painful at times because usually when you have long periods of dominating you get something.”
Pompey continued their promotion quest by ending the day in fourth.
Accrington, who sit in an unflattering 15th, haven’t won away from home and have just the single victo- ry to their name this season.
And boss John Coleman wants to create a winning mentality at the club to fight with the likes of Pompey.
Coleman said: “We’ve got to change our philosophy. I spoke to our players about acting like winners and believing they can be promotion candidates.
“Portsmouth believe they can be promotion candidates and we’ve got to make our players have the belief and the swagger.
“Whilst we are reasonably happy with a point coming here, we’ve got to come to these places thinking we can win.
“There will be plenty of teams who come here and shut up shop but our mission was to win the game.
“It was a game where two teams tried to play football and unfortunately they cancelled each other out.
“You see a lot of huffs and puffs in televised Premier League games and you won’t see as much effort as