Cook: Don’t judge wage bills

Paul Cook. Picture: Sarah Standing
Paul Cook. Picture: Sarah Standing
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Paul Cook has downplayed the significance of his Pompey playing budget.

Like predecessor Andy Awford, the new Blues boss has been handed one of the best budgets in League Two.

I am a Liverpool fan, we have plenty of players on big money who aren’t very good, so the budget doesn’t guarantee you anything

Paul Cook

With a potential summer clear-out courtesy of 11 players being out of contract, Cook possesses the scope to rebuild the Pompey squad he has inherited.

Doncaster’s Kyle Bennett and Chesterfield’s Jimmy Ryan are at the top of his wishlist, both becoming free agents next month.

But the Blues boss does not believe people should get carried away judging a club’s playing budgets.

He said: ‘You have to be careful in football, geographically with Portsmouth you are required to pay more for the standard of living than other people.

‘Too much is made of budgets now, you don’t speak about players.

‘I am a Liverpool fan, we have plenty of players on big money who aren’t very good, so the budget doesn’t guarantee you anything.

‘But it gives you a chance, it will give us a chance out of the starting blocks this year.

‘The things that you think can make you strong can make you weak, though.

‘For instance, teams love coming to Fratton Park at the minute. Teams come out and think “it’s great to be here” and take photographs.

‘Our away record isn’t good, we don’t travel well, and we have got to change it.’

Meanwhile, Pompey are set to announce their retained list within the next 24 hours.

Final meetings are likely to be concluded today, including Ryan Taylor, who is scheduled to sit down with Cook this morning.

Bradley Tarbuck has already been released as Pompey’s boss works his way through those players whose current Fratton Park deals are ticking down.