Cook’s summer rebuilding begins

New Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: James Williamson
New Pompey boss Paul Cook Picture: James Williamson
  • New boss Cook today starts his Fratton Park rebuild
  • 11 players out of contract waiting to hear if they have Pompey future
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CHIEF EXECUTIVE Mark Catlin will today sit down with Paul Cook and plot Pompey’s future.

The Blues’ new manager is scheduled at Fratton Park this morning to begin the summer overhaul which fans hope will spark the club’s resurgence.

Paul has also got some exciting recruitment ideas before the season starts which he wants to work on

Mark Catlin

Cook’s first act will be to deliver his verdict on the 11 players whose contracts end next month.

The thoughts of backroom staff, Gary Waddock and Paul Hardyman, on those players have already been taken into consideration by Pompey’s boss.

And he will now work through the list to put them out of their misery, with the 11 having been cast in limbo since before the end of the season.

Catlin revealed Cook has already identified a number of summer targets, with squad strengthening now able to gather pace following his long-anticipated appointment.

Chesterfield supporters have already voiced their fears he may now raid his former club for out-of-contract Jimmy Ryan and fellow midfielder Gary Roberts.

Regardless, the priority remains resolving the future of those currently out of contract at Fratton Park.

And today represents the kick off of Cook’s time as Pompey boss.

Catlin said: ‘Paul was always first choice for the Pompey board and it is absolutely fantastic we have managed to get him.

‘All the work we are doing off the pitch has enabled us to finance it and the result is we have managed to recruit a manager from the league above.

‘It is fantastic that Paul has left a club challenging for the Championship to come and help us rebuild at Pompey.

‘He knows the level inside out and has also developed players that have then moved on to clubs higher up the leagues.

‘Over the next few days and weeks I will be working closely with him, as well as speaking to players out of contract at the end of the season.

‘The priority has to be the players and they will be told as soon as possible.

‘Paul has also got some exciting recruitment ideas before the season starts which he wants to work on.

‘By paying compensation, the board have shown how highly they regard him and all round he ticks almost every single box we had.’

At Chesterfield, Cook preferred to operate with a 4-2-3-1 system and, firstly, he must assess how the current squad can fit into that.

That will have an impact on the 11 players whose deals run out on June 30.

Ryan Taylor, who has been interesting Oxford and others – plus first-team regular Joe Devera – are among those out of contract.

Others include Wes Fogden, Dan Butler, Adam Webster, Ben Close and Bradley Tarbuck.

Finally, Danny East, Nicky Shorey, Tom Craddock and Ben Chorley complete the 11.