Chesterfield prepared to fight Pompey over Cook

Chesterfield's Paul Cook
Chesterfield's Paul Cook
Pompey will be short of numbers in the stands for tomorrow night's Checkatraade Trophy game with Fulham under-21s

Pompey on course for record-low crowd

  • Paul Cook has remained one of the bookies’ favourites since Andy Awford’s exit
  • The 48-year-old took Chesterfield to League Two title last season
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Chesterfield have vowed to fight their corner if Pompey come calling for a manager they believe is the best in League One.

The highly-regarded Paul Cook remains one of the bookies’ favourites for the Fratton Park job.

Whenever people lose their jobs, clubs are going to look to who is doing well. Paul Cook is doing extremely well

Chris Turner

The 48-year-old steered the Spireites to the League Two title last term, and they are now on the verge of reaching the League One play-offs.

Pompey’s board will tomorrow meet to draw up a shortlist of managerial targets.

It remains to be seen if Cook forms part of that list.

Nonetheless, his impressive record at Chesterfield continues to attract interest in the game.

And having signed a contract extension in February, which ties him to the club until 2017, chief executive Chris Turner believes he is in a position to retain Cook.

Turner told The News: ‘He is the best manager in the league and I would have thought clubs would be interested in Paul Cook, his record since arriving at this club is second to none.

‘There has been no contact from Portsmouth and, as far as I know, Paul is happy to be here and doing a great job.

‘We are delighted with him and are not surprised other clubs get linked with him.

‘It was Wigan last week, it was somebody else the week before.

‘Whenever people lose their jobs, clubs are going to look to who is doing well. Paul Cook is doing extremely well.

‘I am pleased he does get linked with other jobs because it proves what a good job he is doing for us.

‘However, he is under contract at Chesterfield and that is the way it is.

‘Of course we would stand in the way if a club came in for him, we have got to fight our corner.

‘We have a great manager working extremely well for us, we are successful.

‘Besides, he has a good contract and as far as I know is happy here.

‘There are teams in League One spending two or three times more money than we are – yet we are sixth in the league and one point behind Sheffield United.

‘It is all about players and management and how they perform, and Paul’s record with us is excellent.’

Speaking generally, Blues chief executive Mark Catlin has admitted Pompey would consider paying compensation for the right boss.

It has been reported there is a clause in the contract Cook penned in February.

However, Turner declined to discuss that particular matter.

He added: ‘That is our business, we are not saying anything on it.

‘I am not surprised there is speculation, though, but it is all speculation.

‘Let’s say another club sacked their manager tomorrow, whatever club it is, I am sure Paul’s name will come up on the bookies’ list.

‘Until anybody rings me up officially from any football club we just bat on.’