Pompey boss: I will never leave this club

Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey celebrate Brett Pitman's goal. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey 1 Southend 0 – Neil Allen’s match report

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Paul Cook has pledged his future to Pompey – if he remains wanted.

The Blues boss has led the club to their first silverware since the 2008 FA Cup.

If I’m not here then it will be only because Pompey don’t want me here

Paul Cook

In the process, he becomes the fifth Pompey manager to have secured a Football League title.

Cook has one year remaining on the Fratton Park deal he signed in May 2015 after leaving Chesterfield.

Prospective owner Michael Eisner has already publicly delivered his backing for the manager to remain in place should he take over the club.

In the meantime, there are sure to be admiring glances in Cook’s direction following two League Two titles and two play-off qualifications in his last four years.

Yet the 50-year-old is keen to stay with the Blues.

He said: ‘I will not seek to move anywhere.

‘If I was to get offers from any clubs higher than Pompey, that doesn’t matter to me.

‘I would love to continue managing this club, I will not leave this club unless it was for a reason why the club wanted me to leave.

‘I would never leave this club.

‘I love the club, I love managing the club, it’s a fantastic club. For my future, I want to be here.

‘If I’m not here then it will be only because Pompey don’t want me here.

‘It won’t be because any other club in the country had come in for me – except Liverpool.

‘I have to tell you, I would find it very hard to get rid of Liverpool!’

Pompey have become the fifth side in Football League history to have captured titles in all four divisions.

In doing so, Cook follows in the footsteps of Bob Jackson (Division One), George Smith (Division Three), Bobby Campbell (Division Three) and Harry Redknapp (Division Two).

Having been in fifth spot at the beginning of March, a remarkable end-of-season run saw 10 wins from 12 matches.

That was enough to clinch League Two on goal difference ahead of Plymouth.

The Blues endured Home Park heartbreak in the play-off semi-finals last term, now they are champions.

Now Cook is eyeing what happens in Pompey’s boardroom as American billionaire Eisner seeks approval for his £5.67m bid.

He added: ‘In my time I will sit down with whatever board.

‘If my future is not here then so be it, I only want Portsmouth to do well.

‘I am not a manager with an agenda, I don’t have that edge where I am wanting people to fail, life is too short for all that.

‘Football clubs live for beyond each of our lifetime’s and this club will go on. No-one will keep this club down, when you have support like we have, no-one will keep it down.

‘I hope I am here, if I am fantastic, if I am not I won’t have a problem.’