Paul Cook: Stevenage will be a tough test

Portsmouth boss Paul Cook has predicted this weekend’s clash with Stevenage will be one of their hardest games of the season.

The south coast squad can close the gap to one point behind second-placed Plymouth with a win at Broadhall Way on Saturday.

PFC vs GTFC PIC
Kyle Bennett celebrates his mid-week goal against Grimsby

Cook’s side travel to sixth side Stevenage with a seven-point advantage, but Cook acknowledges the home side’s recent form will be a tough test.

The Blues boss said: “Their league position speaks volumes about what they’re doing as a club and Darren Sarll has put together a fantastic team.

“They have a very realistic chance of going up automatically.

“The game will be as tough as they come on Saturday, we’re playing a very, very good side.

“They’re very well organised, very professional, you can see the work they put in.

Pompey are on course for automatic promotion to League 1 this season
Pompey are on course for automatic promotion to League 1 this season

“We look forward to a exciting game in front of a big crowd.”

The manager has also said he won’t be giving any further details away regarding injuries to the team, following their 4-0 victory at home to Grimsby Town on Tuesday.

Scorers Kyle Bennett and Kal Naismith both had to be withdrawn from play following injuries.

Cook said: “We’ll keep our head down with that one.

“Some lads have just done a session and come back in, the lads are trying to get a bit more recovery.

“We’ll keep all our cards close to our chest on that one.

Pompey celebrate cementing their third place position on Tuesday
Pompey celebrate cementing their third place position on Tuesday

“We’re not trying to play any mind games or anything, but certainly letting people know whose injured and not wouldn’t be beneficial to us.”

It is almost certain the same side that won in mid-week won’t be selected, but Cook knows he has a big squad full of talent so has no concerns over his team selection.

Should The Boro win on Saturday they’ll close the gap to the automatic promotion paces to four points.

Saturday’s crunch match for Pompey away to Stevenage kicks off at 3pm at Broadhall Way Stadium.