Paul Cook targets quality Pompey recruits

Liverpool goalkeeper Ryan Fulton
Liverpool goalkeeper Ryan Fulton
The under-repair South stand will not be used for the Bournemouth friendly. Picture: Colin Farmery

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Paul Cook has spoken of the importance of his next Pompey signings as he plots the club’s progression.

The Blues boss completed a major overhaul of the squad in the summer but is still looking for quality additions during the January transfer window.

The next signings are big ones for us

Paul Cook

Pompey have been linked with 19-year-old Liverpool goalkeeper Ryan Fulton and Swindon striker Michael Smith recently, although Cook declined to comment on the speculation.

But he did explain Pompey face a pivotal period as they attempt to improve their squad. And the manager added it will take investment to bring in the necessary quality of player.

Cook said: ‘The next signings are big ones for us.

‘To improve our team and our club, you are getting to the nitty-gritty.

‘We’ve overseen a squad change. In general, everyone is quite pleased with how we’re playing.

‘But the next signing is important to us as a club so it’s important that we make the right one.

‘We’re at a level and it takes something else to improve on that now.

‘Sometimes when you identify a problem for the people above you, they don’t want the problem – they want the solution.

‘Players I want to sign would cost money – of course they would.

‘A fella spoke to me the other day and said “Jed Wallace would be good for our team”.

‘Jed went for a lot of money and there is a reason why you move on for a lot of money.

‘As a club progressing, how fast do you want to go?

‘It happens all around the country where clubs have tried to go forward too quickly and end up coming back.

‘You can go forward quite quickly – but it’s about getting the right players.’

While Cook wants to make fast progress, he believes that consistency is also required.

‘Managers do get sacked very quickly these days but we are not changing that,’ added Cook.

‘So there is pressure on the manager to get us back to where we think we should be as quickly as possible.

‘Knowing and having faith in your players is huge.

‘The stronger your players, the more success you will get.

‘It’s important that you are always trying to make that progress.

‘But we are very blessed that we have a lot of good players at the club.’

Asked about Fulton – the Scotland under-21 international goalkeeper – Cook said: ‘Last week we were linked with Liam Noble from Notts County so I’m not going to speak about speculation on goalkeepers or any other position.

‘My job is to continue to strengthen the team and it’s not right to discuss deals in public.

‘Am I looking to strengthen the team in general? Yes.

‘But I think everyone knows we are also trying to trim the squad down.’