Paul Cook weighs up Pompey transfer window options

Pompey will be active in the January transfer window.

Wednesday, 21st December 2016, 6:01 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:11 pm
Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler

That is the pledge from Paul Cook as he seeks to fine-tune his squad for a promotion challenge.

Although, the Blues’ boss is unsure to what extent changes will be made to his playing set-up.

Pompey head into the festive period seven points adrift of a top three which are refusing to slow the pace.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

At present, Cook’s squad is a sizeable 28 – also taking into account first-year professionals at Fratton Park.

Numbers are considerably too high, a problem which requires addressing to enable manoeuvrability in attempts to recruit.

Jamal Lowe is already an impending arrival once next month’s window opens.

And Cook is continuing to scour for other new talent to bolster his squad’s strength.

He said: ‘We will always be active.

‘A big squad was always about getting you to January just in case, so when the window opens it will allow teams to manoeuvre.

‘We will be active in January, whether that means we will do anything or not remains to be seen but we will be looking to be active.

‘When you are at good clubs there is always pressure on you to improve – and for bigger clubs the reality is you probably can.

‘Will Pep Guardiola be looking to spend at Manchester City? Of course he will.

‘But it’s about who comes in.

‘We are happy, genuinely happy at the minute. We feel we have a strong squad and the good thing about this club is our board are always there to help.

‘If I went to them with something I am sure they would help.

‘My job is to keep watching games and looking up players, looking at how we are doing on the pitch, what we can do better – and is there anyone out there to improve us?

‘We are actively looking.’

The January 2016 transfer window represented a relatively quiet period for Pompey in terms of new recruits.

Loanees Michael Smith (Swindon) and Ryan Fulton (Liverpool) arrived, while the stays of Marc McNulty and Matt Clarke were extended.

Instead, there were a flurry of outgoings as Cook trimmed his bulging squad.

James Dunne, Nigel Atangana, Michael Poke and Rommy Boco departed on free transfers, swiftly finding other clubs.

In addition, loanee Jayden Stockley returned to Bournemouth, while Caolan Lavery slipped through their grasp by going back to Sheffield Wednesday.

Cook, however, acknowledges certain roles require attention this time around during the transfer window.

He added: ‘I certainly believe there are positions there you look at but we are happy.

‘On the recruitment side of it, though, I think we have brought in plenty enough players to last us a lifetime.’