Paul Cook sticks to Pompey priorities

  • Pompey host Reading in Capital One Cup second round clash

Paul Cook insists his priorities have not been swayed by the incentive of a high-profile Capital One Cup draw.

The Pompey boss made seven changes to his starting line-up for the first-round victory over Derby County and confirmed he is thinking along similar lines as his side host Reading (Tuesday night, 7.45pm).

Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler

Paul Jones, Adam Webster, Danny Hollands and Jayden Stockley are among those who look set to return to the side once again with Gary Roberts, Michael Doyle, Christian Burgess and Matt Tubbs all likely to be given a breather.

Cook, however, has made no apology for his selection and is still keen to seal a place in the next round.

And there could be a huge financial incentive with the Premier League’s European representatives set to enter the fray in the third round.

‘It’s a manager’s prerogative to prioritise whatever he deems fit for his club,’ said Cook.

‘My priority is promotion. Then the second priority is the FA Cup, then it’s the Capital One Cup and then the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

‘We don’t mind saying that the league is very much our priority so we will have one eye on the Luton game on Saturday with our selection.

‘We’ve got a very strong squad and we’ve got lads chomping at the bit to play and thinking they should be in the team. I don’t disagree with some of those arguments.

‘There will be changes dead similar to the Derby game so our fans know that.

‘But as a club, we want to win.

‘We will send out a good team and we will also have a strong bench.

‘We are up against a Championship-quality team in Reading and it should be a really entertaining game.’