Paul Cook plans Pompey squad cutback

  • Pompey currently have 27 professionals at the club

Paul Cook insists he is still looking to trim back his Pompey squad.

The Blues boss loaned out midfielder James Dunne to Dagenham & Redbridge earlier this week, but that still leaves him with 27 professionals at the club.

That number includes Adam May, Brandon Haunstrup, Ben Close and Ben Tollitt – all of whom have yet to feature in League Two so far this season and would seem to be the most likely to be allowed out on loan.

Jack Whatmough, Paul Jones, Michael Poke, Jayden Stockley and Gary Roberts are currently out with injuries, but Cook is still determined to work with the streamlined squad he targeted during the summer.

‘I think we have too many players,’ said Cook.

‘I always like to give people time and I feel like I know the players now.

‘They’ve all had bits and pieces of games, in general.

‘I think, going forward, we will see people leave the club, rather than coming in.

‘At the moment, I believe our squad is too big and there are too many players in the building who could spend time not playing games.

‘So I will be concentrating on that going forward.’

Cook also believes it’s a positive move for Dunne to join the Daggers on loan but refused to close the door on his Pompey career.

The Blues boss added: ‘In football, doors don’t ever shut until they shut.

‘It’s important for James to play after his pre-season injury. This gives him a chance to play some games.

‘James is contracted until the end of the season and nobody knows what a month or two could lead to.

‘We wish him well.’