Paul Cook seeking players to put his Pompey trust in

Paul Cook at York earlier this season. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook at York earlier this season. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

Evans: Player talk has lifted Pompey form

  • Football is made up of all sorts of different stuff, it’s not just what you see on the pitch
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Paul Cook is seeking to bring in Pompey players who possess his trust.

And he feels performances will become stronger if he manages to succeed.

The Fratton Park fine-tuning is under way, with the Blues chasing recruits to strengthen a squad which failed to reach the League Two play-off final.

Cook is well aware recruitment is crucial if Pompey are next season to depart League Two following four years in the bottom division.

And he is striving to add one vital ingredient in particular to the dressing room – trust.

He said: ‘Five injured lads drove to the game on Sunday.

‘They are little things that are getting you there, small things that make managers happy.

‘There is a time when you come in from games and you are not nailing players.

‘Once you have your total belief in your squad that is what you get judged on.

‘That is why when we came back from York that defeat didn’t hurt me like it should because they don’t have my trust yet.

‘You are disappointed in players you trust.

‘But the players did not let me down against Plymouth, not at all.

‘You have got to have good lads, that work ethic, that desire to run and work and close down.

‘Football is made up of all sorts of different stuff, it’s not just what you see on the pitch.

‘Team spirit, desire, there are a million different components which go into making a good squad.’

Last summer a total of 28 players were involved in Cook’s Pompey overhaul following his arrival from Chesterfield.

With 14 in and 14 out, it was often breathless at Fratton Park as supporters struggled to keep track.

Yet ripping up the existing squad was an absolute necessity in Cook’s eyes.

He added: ‘Over the years Portsmouth have had strong squads, no doubt a lot of characters have been in those teams.

‘We threw a squad together last year very, very quickly.

‘Looking back, we would have let one or two go that could probably have stayed, time is a wonderful thing but we didn’t have that opportunity.

‘We had to make drastic change because it was the worst season in the club’s history, so anyone part of that cannot really be kept.’