Cook sets about Pompey recruitment drive

Paul Cook is planning a busy period of transfer activity as he reshapes his Pompey options.

Tuesday, 17th May 2016, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:03 pm
Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler

The Pompey boss is aiming to lift the mood among fans after suffering play-off heartache by setting about on some quick-fire recruitment.

Cook feels his squad needs surgery to take them from promotion-contenders to the real deal next season.

And he revealed work is already well under way on that front.

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‘We are going to do our best now to start signing a couple of players, that is my job,’ said Cook.

‘My job is to give supporters what they need to see.

‘We have got to make that team better.

‘Get players in, sign players, sign players that when they play in front of the Fratton End get us all off our seat, and I am not going to criticise my own players.

‘We were in since 7am yesterday and I had about six offers out there!

‘Our supporters now, when you get to this position as a fan, you want to see improvement so they want us to sign Joe Bloggs.

‘So our fans get lifted by some of the signings we make and that is the important thing now, especially at the top end of the pitch.

‘I think it will be an eventful couple of weeks.’

Cook believes the last campaign has shown up the need for players with the strength of character to be able to represent Pompey.

And he knows having men who are capable of doing that will come at a premium - meaning the call is for quality over quantity.

‘Last Thursday night, when you break it down, it’s a League Two play-off. But when you are sitting there watching it, it is a Champions League game and our fans have got to have a level of player,’ added Cook.

‘We weren’t the highest payers in the league this year, we are Portsmouth FC and someone in this division pays more money than us, so it means we are only getting the same product as some of the other teams, yet they are playing in front of 2,000 people.

‘You don’t have a West End show and put The Muppets on stage, do you?

‘The targets are no different, and I know it sounds a silly thing to say, but quality is quality and quantity is quantity.

‘We have got to have certain players in certain areas, we can’t go spending millions, we are not doing that, but within the budget.

‘The budget has to be spent right, you have to get quality in there, and certainly we have. You have got to show intent.

‘Clubs are all releasing nine or 10 players and where do you think they are replacing them? They get them from other teams.

‘We are looking to be a bit more active, not as drastic as last year, but I would imagine there could be three or four leaving and one or two more than that coming in.’