Cook to learn Pompey targets

Paul Cook. Picture: Colin Farmery
Paul Cook. Picture: Colin Farmery
Milan Lalkovic in pre-season action against the Hawks

Pompey winger set for return against Walsall

  • Cook to meet full Pompey board for first time next week
  • Blues ambition for next season will be set out
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POMPEY’s board will next week meet Paul Cook to lay down their expectations for the season ahead.

The new Blues boss has already set about his task in earnest, driving down from Chesterfield on Tuesday after saying his goodbyes.

Paul is very highly regarded, everybody we canvassed spoke well of him

Ashley Brown

Yesterday he was at Fratton Park to meet the office staff, while he will address the media for the first time tomorrow at a scheduled press conference.

Cook has been recruited by Pompey to rebuild a club which has just recorded its lowest-ever placing in the Football League.

Predecessor Andy Awford had been instructed by the board to reach the play-offs, although that has subsequently been refuted by the former boss.

And Ashley Brown has revealed the seven-man board will be setting out their ambitions with the new manager at a meeting on Thursday, May 21.

The club and Trust board member said: ‘As a board we won’t sit down and meet with Paul to discuss goals until next week.

‘Up until now it has been an interview process and a negotiation process.

‘Now that has been done and we have his signature on a contract, we have a standard board meeting scheduled for Thursday next week.

‘That will be a first opportunity for the board as a whole group to sit down with Paul and Mark (Catlin) and Tony (Brown) to talk about the forthcoming season.

‘And that is when we want to talk about goals and targets.’

Last summer, Awford was allowed to sign Nigel Atangana and James Dunne for undisclosed transfer fees.

The board also increased the playing budget, breaking the £1,500-a-week wage ceiling which had been set when Guy Whittingham took over.

On the eve of the 2014-15 campaign, chairman Iain McInnes told The News the aim was to challenge for the play-offs.

That never materialised and Awford left by mutual consent in April with the Blues in 14th spot.

Cook won the League Two title with Chesterfield the last time he competed at this level, boasting the best goal-scoring record in the process.

They also lost to Peterborough in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.

Such achievements have earned the 48-year-old an excellent reputation among his footballing peers.

Brown added: ‘Paul is very highly regarded, everybody we canvassed spoke well of him.

‘We wanted to contact people who have had any sort of contact with him and didn’t get anything negative back at all.

‘The whole process was complicated a little bit by Chesterfield’s play-offs and it would have been complicated a little bit further if they had got into the final, which wouldn’t have been played until later this month.

‘But we are pleased we managed to get our man.’