Cook: We’ll get stronger

Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: Joe Pepler

PAUL COOK dismissed Pompey’s position outside the promotion berths and promised: We’ll get stronger.

The Blues boss highlighted the squad he has at his disposal as evidence his side will improve this season.

When you recruit players of the calibre we have we’ll get stronger.

Paul Cook

But Cook underlined he is still looking to reduce the number of players in his ranks in the January transfer window.

Pompey go into today’s League Two clash with Hartlepool six points outside of the automatic promotion spots.

That isn’t causing Cook any concern, however, as his side approach the halfway point of the season.

After recruiting strikers Caolan Lavery and Marc McNulty on loan, the 48-year-old is confident there will be improvement in the coming months.

Cook said: ‘We’re four places off where we want to be.

‘That doesn’t bother me at all, though.

‘The most important thing for us, as staff, is you continually get confidence out of teams you pick.

‘When you recruit players of the calibre we have you’ll get stronger.

‘Whether other teams do is not our business.

‘They might – but we are looking to make ourselves a better team.

‘We’ll be looking to do that and that’s great credit to our support and the club.

‘The numbers allow us to do that.

‘We’ve put a squad together quickly. We felt we needed that. We felt there needed to be drastic changes at the club.

‘There still needs to be tinkering moving forward.

‘Fingers crossed the more windows we see the better we’ll get.’

Pompey currently have 26 players in their first-team set-up.

That remains too many in Cook’s eye, and although he will be looking for reinforcements next month, he wants to reduce the overall size.

‘It’s about timing of contracts,’ he said.

‘It’s lads whose contracts have run out and who you want to renew.

‘It’s about lads coming through.

‘Coming up to the AFC Wimbledon game we felt we could start to manage the club now.

‘With most of the players, we felt we knew what we could and couldn’t work with in terms of partnerships.

‘You look at how quickly they can change and you can get people on the pitch who can work together. That’s the bigger picture.

‘I do expect there to be more goings than comings in January, for sure.

‘We want less numbers. It’s that simple.

‘That doesn’t mean we want to recruit, but we want less numbers.

‘There’s too many players in our squad for our liking. We can’t keep everyone happy.

‘As a manager I don’t like that.’