Cook: I won’t be gung-ho in transfer market

Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Oli Hawkins. Picture: Joe Pepler

Hawkins prompts Pompey transfer rethink

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PAUL COOK promised to give his players a chance to prove themselves before charging into the transfer market.

The Pompey boss dismissed the notion of employing a knee-jerk recruitment policy and responding to results by bringing in new faces.

Before we move anyone else on let’s stick with these ones for a bit and give them a go!

Paul Cook

Cook faced questions on whether he was going to dip into the loan market in the wake of Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Mansfield. He rejected being reactive to the outcome of games in such a manner.

Cook confirmed he is still in a position to bolster his options.

But, with the 48-year-old placing such an emphasis on the importance of each recruit now, he wants to take time to get his decisions right.

Cook said: ‘You don’t just go and buy players. Is that the model?

‘Before we move anyone else on let’s stick with these ones for a bit and give them a go!

‘When you come to a club like ours we’ve had an initial change. Every signing we make now going forward will determine our future.

‘We are where we’re at. We’re in a solid position. Five points clear of the first team outside the play-offs.

‘If someone said at the start of the year we were in the play-offs some would be happy and some wouldn’t.

‘But we are in a position to get stronger. I wouldn’t have thought there were too many teams in the league in that position.

‘We’re one of those lucky teams – and that’s down to our fan base.

‘The supporters turn up on a Tuesday night. They are giving the club the chance to say to the manager to go out and get someone if they see a player they like.

‘It’s a case of looking at what we’ve got and seeing where we go.’

Cook has made 16 signings since becoming Pompey boss, although loan keeper Aaron McCarey has returned to Wolves.

He explained the club remain active in their pursuit of further additions with his staff busy watching targets.

Cook said: ‘As we’re going along now we are an active club. We are looking for players. That’s what football’s about.

‘The signings we make now must improve us a team – that’s what I keep telling people. They must be young players who are going to go on, or players who are going to make us better.

‘We are where we’re at – we can sign players who can make us better. We’re always waiting for players.

‘We’re looking at players. I won’t tell people lies. Whether we get them or not remains to be seen. When you’re a big club people don’t accept second best.

‘The reality of it is you’ve changed a squad completely.

‘We have qualities in what we do but we also have deficiencies.

‘Improving it as we go on is the target.

‘I call it a functioning football club. We have to get progressively better as a club.’