Cook out to give Pompey fans hope with signings

Pompey boss Paul Cook
Pompey boss Paul Cook
The Fratton faithful at AFC Wimbledon in 2013. Picture: Joe Pepler

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PAUL COOK is being driven by the desire to right missing out on promotion.

The Pompey boss has spoken of the determination to put a squad together which will give fans the belief that can happen next season.

And Cook has told of his belief the Fratton faithful will once again turn out in their numbers next season.

Season tickets go on sale next Wednesday after prices were frozen for a fourth year in a row.

Over 11,000 were sold in the past two seasons, with supporters showing an impressive loyalty to their side.

The manager is looking to give fans reason to return in the new campaign as he sets about building a squad to get out of League Two.

The 49-year-old admitted he feels the burden of expectation of delivering for the Pompey following after defeat in the play-offs to Plymouth.

But he is hopeful they will be backing his side again come August.

Cook said: ‘The supporters are a credit to themselves, they really are.

‘You can’t give enough superlatives to our supporters.

‘I do (feel the weight of responsibility). That’s life. You’ve got to deal with it.

‘If I went home, sulked and went off on holiday for two weeks it’d be easy.

‘And do what? Bury my head and say it’s going to be alright next year? We have to go out and make it right.

‘We are going to go into another League Two campaign, and I think season-ticket sales are going to be right up there again.

‘I just do. I really do think that, because we’re going to do our best now to sign a couple of players.

‘That’s my job now. My job now is to give those supporters what they need to see.’

Pompey last week announced their retained list as Cook quickly set about surgery of his squad.

That has included transfer-listing Adam McGurk, Matt Tubbs and Kal Naismith and releasing keeper Brian Murphy.

Cook told how the focus has quickly shifted to reinforcements for next term after being hopeful of gearing up for a play-off final at Wembley.

He said: ‘It’s about who we sign now. That’s what football is about. That’s the reality of this game. We have to make this team better.

‘I’ve got to switch off for a bit for my family.

‘Maybe I’ll do that a bit when we’ve signed a player or two.

‘We’ll get one or two signings over the line and we’ll move one or two out.

‘I want our supporters to know that.

‘I had my week planned. We were off to Basel last Wednesday and then we were going to take the players to Portugal for two days.

‘Then we were going to have a week to prepare for Wembley.

‘Now I haven’t got a week to prepare for Wembley and I’m not going to Portugal, or went to Basel!

‘I’m here at the club trying to make it right.

‘It’s work to get players in now. Sign players. Sign players who could play at Fratton Park and get on the ball and get us off our seats.

‘That’s my job – to make it right.’