Comment: Credit Cook for luring Doyle to Pompey

Paul Cook and Eoin Doyle have reunited at Fratton Park
Paul Cook and Eoin Doyle have reunited at Fratton Park
Brett Pitman had a great chance to hand Pompey the lead in the first half against Rotherham Picture: Joe Pepler

Knight: Pompey must improve higher up the pitch

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Has Paul Cook just secured the missing piece in Pompey’s promotion puzzle?

Eoin Doyle’s highly-anticipated Fratton Park loan arrival could hardly have come at a better time for the Blues – and the man responsible for luring him to the club.

Pompey’s under-fire manager knows full well the necessity of escaping League Two this season.

Failure to do so and signing Doyle will, in all likelihood, prove Cook’s parting act.

A fifth successive season in English football’s basement division is not an acceptable outcome.

And with the fifth-placed Blues still reeling from defeat to Exeter at the weekend and stuttering in their season-long pursuit of the top three, Cook has used his phone-a-friend lifeline.

But what a call it could prove to be.

Ask the audience and there is no 50-50 split on this one, Doyle is a signing to excite the overwhelming majority.

And after a rather hit-and-miss time of it in transfer windows past, it seems Pompey’s boss may well have saved his best for last.

Doyle is a player with a fantastic reputation for goals in the lower leagues of English football.

But much more important than that, the 28-year-old Preston North End striker is a man who has enjoyed the most successful spells of his career under trusted Cook’s guidance.

Spend your time reading the comments section at portsmouth.co.uk and you could be quick to forget that Pompey’s boss has enjoyed great success in recent times.

And his rapid rise with Chesterfield from mid-table League Two mediocrity to League One play-off semi-finallists, coincided with Doyle’s most prolific spell in the game.

Under Cook, the Irishman netted 13 goals as the all-conquering Spireites claimed the fourth-tier title in 2013-14.

The following campaign he struck 25 times in 33 appearances to earn a February 2015 switch to Cardiff, with Chesterfield missing out on joining him in the Championship after play-off heartbreak at the hands of Preston.

But having failed to settle at either Cardiff or Preston – who he joined in the summer – Doyle has sought a familiar face to get him back among the goals.

It’s not just at Chesterfield, though, where the duo have had success.

The Irish striker’s second-most prolific spell of his career, you ask?

Also under Cook, in a trophy-laden stay at Sligo Rovers in the League of Ireland.

So when the calls came in from both high-flying League One Bolton – Preston’s preferred destination for the out-of-favour front man – and League Two Pompey, Doyle didn’t think twice about dropping down two divisions.

Other unnamed League One clubs were also very keen on Doyle, so it’s time to give credit to Cook for luring a sought-after striker to the south coast.

And if the pair of them can have anything like the success they have achieved together in the past then it could prove to be a masterstroke from Pompey’s manager.

Hero status for both awaits.