Portsmouth manager Paul Cook has told The Portsmouth News that he wants his side to be back to their best following their poor showing during last week’s narrow FA Cup win against National League side Macclesfield Town.
Cook was scathing in his criticism of his sides inability to keep possession against their non-league counterparts, but at the same time was relieved that his team “managed to find a way of winning” to scrape through into the second round.
Sunday sees AFC Wimbledon visit Fratton Park for a live televised Sky BET League Two clash and the Pompey manager wants a repeat performance to the one displayed at Notts County two weeks ago.
“I thought we were excellent at Notts County,” Cook told The Portsmouth News.
“After the Notts County game I enjoyed the trip back. When you’re creating chances like we were, then you know we will be alright.
“But when we play like we did against Macclesfield, we didn’t even pass to a person in the same coloured shirt – that would have been a start.”
With Portsmouth sitting ominously in third place – seven points adrift of leaders Plymouth, Cook knows that there are many things right in which he and his team are trying to achieve, but is also mindful that consistency is a key element to a successful season.
“I’m never confident of how we’re going to play, we never seem to have that balance.
“I feel the quicker that we have a balanced the team, the better. We’ve had so much change, we’ve never had that repetition of what we’re about.”
With influential duo Gary Roberts and Matt Tubbs now facing lengthy spells on the sidelines, the consistency that Cook is craving will be made all the more difficult to strike, but patience from the crowd is clearly what the former Chesterfield manager wants whilst his team still try to find their feet.
“It’s important that we all stay together. If we are where we want to be after 46 games, then we all need to stay strong in order to achieve that.” Cook continued.
Mid-table Wimbledon arrive at Fratton Park on Sunday still smarting from their own poor showing in the FA Cup when they were beaten at home by Forest Green, but having scored ten goals in their last four games, Cook knows it will be a tough test for his side.
“They’re a good side, they have good players, especially up the top end of the pitch. They certainly have threats.
“Whether Neil (Ardley) decides to come here and play two up front and have a go at us remains to be seen, that’s his call. The majority of teams come here and sit men behind the ball; if Wimbledon come here and do that, it could become a frustrating afternoon for us and we have to be prepared for that.”