Ref justice for Pompey over penalties

POMPEY are being hurt by officials who feel they need to stand up to the Fratton effect.

Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler

Paul Cook believes referees are not giving decisions to his team, as they aim to show their strength against the intimidating atmosphere created at Fratton Park.

The manager pointed to the Blues not being handed a single penalty at home in league action this season as evidence that is the case.

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Pompey’s regular campaign ends today against Northampton ahead of two crucial play-off clashes with Plymouth next week.

And Cook feels not being given a single home penalty in that time is unusual, especially given the manner in which his side have dominated possession against the vast majority of teams.

It’s something Pompey have highlighted to referee groups throughout the campaign.

Cook is in no doubt it’s on referee’s minds they need to show they aren’t influenced by the clamour to award decisions from the home crowd.

He said: ‘If you look back through the season we haven’t had a penalty in the league at Fratton Park.

‘There’s 16,000 people at Fratton Park and we dominate possession, yet we haven’t had a penalty. Come on.

‘I think the Fratton Park experience has a great effect on the opposition. I don’t mind saying that.

‘Teams play out of their skin on that day.

‘But there’s also an awful feeling from referees that they won’t be intimidated. We’ll stand up.

‘We haven’t had a pen. Leicester have had 11 this season!

‘Fratton Park, with 16-17,000, and we haven’t had a pen? Come on. Give me a break.

‘They are stonewall pens and we’re not getting them.’