HE WAS the manager who ended the Pompey career of Ryan Taylor.
Nonetheless, Oxford United’s newest recruit believes Paul Cook can finally be the appointment to unlock the Blues’ promotion potential.
The 27-year-old signed a two-year deal at the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday, having been among nine players released by Pompey’s boss.
Taylor, who scored 16 goals in 59 appearances for the club, held talks with Cook over staying but was never offered a new Fratton Park contract.
Instead, the new manager has opted to pursue his own players, with Kyle Bennett and Kal Naismith already brought in.
For Taylor, a return of seven goals during an 11-game spell from February ensured there would be plenty of takers should there be no future for him on the south coast. And the striker believes the club he has left behind can start to achieve under ex-Chesterfield boss Cook.
Taylor told The News: ‘I wasn’t offered a new deal at Pompey.
‘I was on holiday when the other players were having their talks, and that is probably why my meeting was put back and I was the last one to be announced.
‘I had a few interested. When it gets towards the end of the season that is when clubs really start looking at players, so my goalscoring form in the second half did help me find another club. The manager (Cook) has his own targets and is rebuilding to create his own team, I think that is fair enough
‘Sometimes you need to shake it up and he has done that – he has released nine players and kept two. This is his squad after all.
‘I have absolutely no problem with that and hope Portsmouth do well next season, I wish them all the best. There’s no hard feelings from my point of view.
‘Now Portsmouth have got the man they wanted after chasing him for a while. He has a good track record so I am guessing they are going to be up and around where they want to be.
‘He is going to bring a lot of new players in and if they gel from the start they’ll have a great chance.
‘The manager has a track record of getting Chesterfield promoted so I am guessing he can do the same there, but it’s about how many players he gets in.’
Signed by Richie Barker in January 2014, Taylor became a key performer in the successful fight against relegation from the Football League that season.
It was upon the arrival of Matt Tubbs, though, when he really sparked into life last season, with the pair striking up an excellent understanding that saw the goals flow.
And the former Rotherham striker is adamant he relished his time at Fratton, regardless of the team’s underachievement.
Taylor said: ‘I enjoyed my time there, have fond memories, and just think we underachieved as players and that is a disappointment of mine.
‘There was a big expectation of promotion from the players and people around the club as well.
‘I quite like expectation, it adds a bit of extra pressure and I think you perform better. But we didn’t do as well as I think we could have as a team.’