Paul Cook: We’re still on the hunt for Pompey recruits

Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler

Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Paul Cook admits the search is ongoing to add new blood to his Pompey squad.

The Blues boss is on the constant look-out for new recruits but insists he is now only looking for players to improve on what he already has.

But Cook admits there is a difficult balance to be struck in looking for fresh impetus and showing faith in the players already at the club.

He said: ‘Recruitment is huge and these next steps we make as a club are massive.

‘Players coming in need to be better than we already have.

‘We are looking every day and we are always looking to make the team better.

‘That’s what successful teams should be doing.

‘We are not a successful team – we are a team being built.

‘Do we want to get better? Yes, of course we do.

‘I always think we need new players.

‘But does that mean we are about to sign someone? No.

‘I’m looking to make us better every day, so it’s an ongoing process.’

At present, Pompey have three loan players in their ranks in Matt Clarke, Jayden Stockley and Aaron McCarey and Cook has room to manoeuvre if he chooses to use the emergency loan window.

Under Football League rules, a maximum of five loan players can be included in a matchday squad.

But while Cook wants competition for places, his existing players also deserve credit for just one defeat in their opening 11 League Two fixtures.

Cook said: ‘If you look at a player within our group, when things are going well, all players are good.

‘When things don’t go so well, they become replaceable.

‘Continuity in football to me is huge.

‘But I also think a threat of change is also good so players don’t get comfortable.

‘I think our lads are in a good place at the minute.

‘We’ve lost one game out of 11 and we are three points behind the league leaders.

‘They have worked hard but we have been frustrated in some of our home performances because things haven’t gone our way.’

Cook also said that long-term plans are being put in place.

He said: ‘In my opinion, at the minute we have got a fantastic nucleus of senior players, younger players and some in the middle of that.

‘Every day we are searching and putting things in place.

‘You may not see the fruits tomorrow but sometimes they are plans for the future.

‘We are in the process of that and there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes in terms of our recruitment. We want to be a solid club.

‘A lot of clubs in general are not built to be yo-yo clubs but there is a lot of up quickly and down quickly.

‘If we can go forward at a nice pace and build consistently, that would see us become a strong club.’