Pompey still on their way - but risk being left behind if they don’t act fast

Former Wolves and Millwall boss Kenny Jackett

Former Wolves and Millwall boss Kenny Jackett

Joe Gallen, left, and Kenny Jackett. Picture: Colin Farmery

First absence from football has given Pompey assistant boss new vigour

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The ink is barely dry on the lucrative contract that saw Paul Cook turn his back on Pompey.

But there’s no time to wallow in self pity, feel hard done by and cheated by the man who was on the road to Blues legendary status following the most dramatic of title wins.

An overwhelming pain consumes us all when a player, or manager in this case, ups sticks and goes by the lure of so-called bigger and better things.

It’s a stomach-churning feeling fans up and down the land will have experienced at some stage in their footballing lives.

And no doubt those within the corridors of power at Fratton Park will be feeling the exact same emotions as news of Cook’s move to Wigan hits home.

Yet this sport we all love is one that shows no mercy to the weak or the afflicted.

It moves on at a pace and those who fail to keep up are quickly forgotten about and left behind.

That’s why Pompey need to quickly put this disappointing episode to bed and start concentrating on the future.

It’s more than three weeks since their season ended with a final day. title-clinching win against Cheltenham.

But in that time their newly-acquired League One rivals will have been forging ahead with plans drawn up over recent months – in particular, business in the transfer market.

In that respect, the Blues are, most certainly, already playing catch-up in what is a dog-eat-dog world.

There’s no doubting that club chief executive Mark Catlin is already on the case, though. He and his confidants will have been giving much thought to Cook’s successor – even when doing their best to keep him at the club.

Former Wolves and Millwall boss Kenny Jackett is already being touted as a potential replacement, while other early names in the frame include Gary Bowyer, Darrell Clarke and Paul Tisdale.

Others are bound to surface, too, with Pompey proving an attractive proposition for any manager with ambition.

And that fact must not be lost in the aftermath of Cook’s departure.

He obviously had his reasons for leaving and we must respect his decision.

But whatever they may be, the newly-crowned League Two champions remain a huge draw for anyone and are a club heading in the right direction irrespective of the outcome of Michael Eisner’s takeover negotiations.

Pompey, though, must not get overwhelmed by the task ahead or caught up in the murky world of football agents who will be, if they’re not already, pimping their clients.

Like their own pursuit of Cook two years ago, Catlin and Co need to identify their target, trust their instincts and go for it.

Do a Wigan, if you like, home in on their No1 priority and make that their goal.

Time is of the essence.

If they don’t act fast, Pompey will still be a club on their way – but they’ll be one playing catch-up

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