Nine down and more to come at Pompey

Brandon Haunstrup, left, and Kyle Bennett are set to make their Pompey bows against the Hawks  Picture: Colin Farmery
Brandon Haunstrup, left, and Kyle Bennett are set to make their Pompey bows against the Hawks Picture: Colin Farmery
Pompey skipper Brett Pitman. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey skipper lifts lid on injury issues

  • There have been nine players in and 12 out during a busy Fratton Park summer so far
  • Blues visit the Hawks on Saturday for their first pre-season friendly
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Newcomers and fresh faces for Pompey’s fans to get accustomed to at an eagerly-anticipated Westleigh Park unveiling.

To date, nine players have so far been recruited by Paul Cook – and expect more to follow as his squad continues to evolve.

I feel the recruitment so far has been very good, I am really pleased where we are up to at the minute, albeit we do need to sign one or two more

Paul Cook

This week, Michael Doyle and Jayden Stockley became the latest to land at Fratton Park.

In doing so they have put themselves in the frame for Saturday’s first pre-season friendly at the Hawks (3pm), which is expected to be well attended again.

Yet that right-back slot remains unfilled, while it can be argued Cook is still a striker short.

Certainly Pompey’s boss is still striving to add to his squad ahead of the Football League kick-off in a month’s time.

He said: ‘The important message for our supporters is we are doing everything we can to make us better.

‘While we cannot please everybody all of the time, they can rest assured we are trying to do that.

‘A progressive club is always looking for players. The challenge for players sometimes is to respect your position in the team, the day you take your position for granted is the day possibly that you could be on your way out.

‘If you haven’t got competition for places then it is not a healthy club, in my opinion.

‘I believe if you can get a team spirit and work ethic among a group then that group can go on and on.

‘To do that you need to bring the right type of characters to the club – that is as important as the right type of player.

‘If you bring in people that might not integrate in that environment too well then that could have a detrimental effect on the team.

‘I feel the recruitment so far has been very good, I am really pleased where we are up to at the minute, albeit we do need to sign one or two more.’

Kyle Bennett was the first summer recruit, followed by Accrington Stanley’s Kal Naismith.

Left-back Enda Stevens then arrived, before the long-running pursuit of Gary Roberts was finally completed for a transfer fee.

Next up, Adam Barton, Adam McGurk and Christian Burgess were all snapped up within a busy 24 hours at Fratton Park.

Then, within days of returning from a period spent team bonding in the Algarve, Doyle and Stockley were on board.

The forthcoming friendlies will also be an opportunity for many to catch a maiden glimpse of first-year professionals Chad Field, Brandon Haunstrup and Snorre Nilsen.

In addition, Tom Craddock will be among the triallists.

Yet while the hunt for more signings goes on, Cook must also keep an eye on those already present in his squad.

He added: ‘My job as manager is to make sure the players work hard, the man-management side of the game is underestimated.

‘In my opinion that is the biggest factor in football today.

‘You can be a good man-manager and can get the best out of your players and if they are fit and have ability I think it takes care of itself.’