Paul Cook shows his belief in Pompey

Paul Cook resisted the temptation to add to his late loan window business.

Thursday, 31st March 2016, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:38 am
Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues boss has shown his faith in his Pompey squad by turning down the chance to add to the addition of Conor Wilkinson last week.

Wilkinson arrived on loan from Bolton ahead of the close of the loan window last Thursday until the end of the campaign.

That gives Cook cover if his team are to feature in the play-offs at the end of the season, with Michael Smith unavailable after the trip to Hartlepool next month.

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Pompey now have a squad of 24 players to see them through the final eight games of the campaign, starting against Carlisle at Fratton Park on Saturday.

The News understands there was the option of bringing in further recruits, if the desire was there.

But Cook was loathe to spend money when he felt it was unnecessary.

That shows a conviction in his men the 49-year-old wants to see echoed around the club.

Cook said: ‘At the minute we have a team we’ve built in the summer.

‘We’ve tried to recruit as we’ve gone along. It’s very much a work in progress for me today.

‘Portsmouth Football Club is still very much a work in progress.

‘We still have areas of the pitch we want to strengthen.

‘We still have players we feel this club should be signing for our stature. That’s an ongoing process.

‘But it’s all about playing for these lads. You see with Jayden Stockley (at Exeter), he’s playing and doing well.

‘We’ve got to make sure for our players we don’t write them off too quickly.

‘That comes from the fans as well.

‘It’s important these players, if you look at our lads, you stand for them.

‘There’s the lows of Newport compared to Bristol Rovers and Accrington.

‘But in general it’s the same players.

‘What you have to do is show consistency, not just as a manager but as fans as well.’

Cook had words of praise for the support given to him by the board as he goes about the task of getting Pompey out of the division.

He was active in looking at a host of players in the countdown to the close of the loan window.

Some of those got away but the Scouser wasn’t prepared to settle for lesser alternatives.

Cook said: ‘The board have been great. The football club is in a good place.

‘But sometimes the signings you want to make are not available.

‘Like I keep saying, it’s a gradual process of getting better.

‘Your signings have an influence on that.

‘We think we can improve the staff going forward. That’s what I believe in.

‘As a club you must get stronger.

‘The board have always been supportive.’