Cook’s attacking targets to give Pompey boost

Free agent Duane Holmes

Free agent Duane Holmes

Kyle Bennett is one of 16 Pompey players out of contract this summer

League One is the future – now for Pompey players’ fate

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PAUL COOK has promised to excite Pompey fans with attacking signings this summer.

And the Blues boss joked that will lift supporters from the inevitable disappointment of England failing at the European Championships next month.

Cook has vowed to get ruthless as he sets about reshaping his squad after missing out on promotion.

Kal Naismith and Adam McGurk have been transfer-listed along with Matt Tubbs.

And Cook has been busy making moves for the men he believes can take Pompey the extra mile next term.

Two bids have been made for Chesterfield’s Jay O’Shea, while Duane Holmes is a target after he was released by Championship side Huddersfield.

They are the kind of men the manager believes will be able to lift supporters in attacking areas after the end-of-season disappointment.

Cook said: ‘When we get to the pain of June and we watch England get knocked out of the Euros, I want everyone to fall back on me.

‘I want our fans to get picked up by the signings we make.

‘That’s the important thing now.

‘We need to excite them, especially at the top end of the pitch.

‘Our fans have to have a level of player.

‘We weren’t the highest payers in the division this season. That flabbergasts me.

‘We’re Portsmouth Football Club – and someone in this division paid more money than us.

‘We can’t go spending millions. We won’t do it.

‘But if you have a £2m budget and 20 players, that’s £100,000 per player – or £2,000 a week.

‘What do you get? We’ve got Ben Tollitt on next to nothing around the squad, so I may as well give someone £4,000 a week.

‘Balance it up. This is where the budget has to be spent well. A budget is a budget.’

Cook has been busy making moves for targets from the moment Pompey failed to make the play-off final.

He is looking to a higher level for the men he is looking to bring in over the coming weeks.

Cook’s content with the players he’s looking to bring in after assembling his hit-list.

They are permanent signings, and he feels there may need to be reasonable fees paid out.

‘We’re quite happy if we get the ones we want over the line,’ added Cook.

‘The nucleus of our squad is good, but there are key areas where we need that little bit more devilment.

‘These are areas where you can have players you trust a bit more.

‘It’s hard with the loan thing.

‘If I’d had a small squad we wouldn’t have any players.

‘I’m into quality. I’d rather spend more on a player knowing our fans want to see quality.

‘It’s where we’re up to with finances now. It’ no good getting to the fourth round of the Cup and filling stadiums every week if we don’t spend money.

‘We can’t keep signing League Two strikers. We’ve had every League Two striker.

‘We’ve had every goalie in the country, too!’

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