Catlin: Pompey do not welcome interest in Cook

Paul Cook celebrates Pompey's League Two triumph Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook celebrates Pompey's League Two triumph Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss second favourite for Wales job

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MARK CATLIN is adamant Pompey would not welcome any interest in Paul Cook.

Although, he has stressed there has still to be any official approach for the 50-year-old’s services.

Paul said a week or so ago that he has no intention of moving anywhere, he wants to stay here, and to date he has always been good to his word

Mark Catlin

Cook has become only the third Blues manager in 33 years to capture silverware, following the League Two title triumph.

Understandably, his stock is high as he enters the final 12 months of the Pompey contract he signed in May 2015.

He has now emerged as the bookies’ favourite for the Wigan job following their relegation to League One.

The Latics were the first club of Cook’s Football League playing career, staying for a four-year spell.

The rumours have not escaped the attention of Catlin, although he insists no interest has been declared to himself.

Pompey’s chief executive said: ‘When involved in football you see rumours surfacing almost on a daily basis, whether that be regarding players or management team.

‘Pompey have had an amazingly successful season and at that point, naturally, members of the team become attractive to other clubs.

‘Unfortunately, this is the nature of the business we are in, however I can only advise on facts and, as of this moment, I can categorically say we have not had any official approach for our manager.

‘Will that change? Who knows. Clubs showing an interest in any members of our team is not something we welcome or, unfortunately, can control.

‘Paul said a week or so ago that he has no intention of moving anywhere, he wants to stay here, and to date he has always been good to his word.’

In his last four years, Cook has twice won the League Two title and reached the play-offs in League One and League Two.

And Catlin has lauded his manager’s ongoing Pompey performance.

He added: ‘Paul has done an amazing job. I genuinely think when he came in two years ago he had one of the most difficult jobs in football bar none in terms of the weight of expectation.

‘He had inherited a team that had finished 16th and there was an anticipation he would immediately get us promoted.

‘In my opinion, Portsmouth was the largest club in the country to be in the wrong league, if that makes sense.

‘Portsmouth are considered by fans as a Championship club, yet had been in League Two – two divisions below.

‘It was extremely difficult for him, but he has coped with it and I think has become a better manager.

‘Paul said the other day he never once felt like he was on the verge of the sack – and genuinely he never was.

‘It was never discussed, no time limits were put on him, he always knew he had the backing of the board. We believed in him all the way through the journey.’