Portsmouth boss Paul Cook backs Mansfield Town to come back strong next season

Mansfield Town v Portsmouth.
Matt Green looks on as his chipped shot goes over the bar.
Mansfield Town v Portsmouth. Matt Green looks on as his chipped shot goes over the bar.
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Pompey boss Paul Cook is backing Mansfield Town to be in the promotion hunt next season.

Stags’ play-off dream was ended for another season following Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Portsmouth.

Mansfield were undone by a woeful decision which say blundering ref Lee Swabey amazingly only showed a yellow card to Matt Clarke despite him hacking down Danny Rose when he was last man.

Pompey added further salt into the wounds when Carl Baker scored his ninth of the season to wrap up the points.

But the Portsmouth boss feels Mansfield Town will come back strongly and be a force next season.

“Mansfield were very good today,” he said. “Matt Clarke had to go, the referee got the big decision wrong and it’s a tough one to get wrong for people in this stadium.

“You feel sick if it goes against you and if it goes for you then you feel that the game is going to go your way.

“This is an intimidating place to come and my players have handled the pressure well.

“Steve is doing a great job here like he always does. Mansfield will be a threat to everyone next year so to have the performance we did it’s great credit to the players.

“It was a tough game and I thought the lads were excellent, I’m very proud of them.”

Rhys Bennett had a goal chalked off for offside before Matt Green blazed over with 10 minutes to go when he really should have scored.

A win would have left Mansfield sixth in the League Two table