Wilson’s Wisdom: Paul Cook’s straight talk can only help

Blues boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Blues boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Smith in action for Bury against Northampton Picture: Sharon Lucey

Much-maligned striker back to face Pompey

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The question was asked.

‘Still looking,’ was the response with a knowing smile.

Paul Cook was in relaxed mood at his press briefing ahead of yesterday’s trip to Plymouth Argyle and went on to explain how he was hoping to strengthen the squad but didn’t give away anything remotely sensitive when asked if he was hoping to add to the Pompey ranks.

He seems to be relatively happy with what he’s got but is still looking for some cover at right-back after Ben Davies’ impressive start to his Blues career.

And reading between the lines, it seems that a few existing players have convinced him that they are worth keeping.

On the recruitment side of things, someone who could do a job at full-back and centre-back would probably be ideal.

I think he could still be after another striker as well but maybe he will save that one for the emergency loan window.

In our short time of dealing with him, Cook has been very accommodating so far. Dealing with the media doesn’t seem like a chore to him – although it is only August...

Some managers have an instant guard on how their opinions are conveyed via the media and never strike up a real rapport.

Others simply don’t enjoy that side of the role, have little interest in getting their message out to supporters and are clearly fulfilling obligations without ever engaging in the process.

Steve Cotterill, for example, would consider the question, then think about his answer, then imagine what headline those words would appear beneath the following day and the worst possible reaction of a supporter reading that article.

It could sometimes mean slightly longer moments of silence in a press conference, which would occasionally leave you guessing what reaction you had provoked for a second or two.

Other managers are a bit more laid-back, especially with the local media who don’t go looking to whip up controversy where there isn’t any to be found.

Then again, some managers start out with an open and relaxed demeanour that changes significantly when results are not going well and the shutters come down on their personality.

Perceived criticism of substitutions, a tactical decision, a disciplinary matter or a team selection can have various different responses.

Possible transfers is always a slightly thorny matter.

Most managers – apart from Harry Redknapp – were not overly keen to discuss transfer targets until they were signed and sealed.

There may come a time when Cook is unhappy with something that has appeared in the local newspaper. It may already have happened and he just hasn’t made his feelings known.

But when it’s possible to be open about the subject, there is a likeable honesty from him so far.

No hidden meanings, no mind games, no nonsense or attempting to hide his feelings.

Straight answers and a simple message.

In my view, that can only help in getting his views across to players, club colleagues and supporters alike.