Pompey: Paul Cook’s looking to reduce numbers

Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
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PAUL COOK is looking to trim his Pompey squad.

The Blues boss is out to slim his options after bringing in striker Marc McNulty.

If people think I want more and more players, though, I actually don’t.

Paul Cook

Cook’s lengthy pursuit of the Sheffield United man paid off last week, when he inked a loan deal at Fratton Park until January.

His signing takes the Blues boss’s squad size to 27 at present.

That is too many for Cook, who feels he has to reduce the number of players at his disposal.

McNulty has been in the Pompey’s boss’s sights for a number of months, with his pursuit reaping dividends.

That signing added to his options, but his long-term plans are clear.

Cook said: ‘The squad is there for all to see.

‘You can discuss the strengths and weaknesses of it.

‘The important thing now is that we have to make ourselves better.

‘As we move along now it’s important we get better to make a strong club.

‘If people think I want more and more players, though, I actually don’t.

‘The reality is the squad will be reduced.

‘It has to be reduced. That’s ongoing.’

McNulty made his first appearance off the bench against Macclesfield on Saturday.

He got 24 minutes under his belt, which was enough time to show glimpses of the quality he will bring to the side.

After a campaign in which he has fallen out of favour at Sheffield United, Cook feels his first job is build his sharpness up.

McNulty’s parent club have indicated they are keen to keep the player, who is due to stay at Pompey for the rest of the campaign.

Cook stressed, however, he is now looking at signings being part of a long-term plan.

He said: ‘Our job is to get him match fit.

‘Caolan Lavery had the same thing when he first came in.

‘We put a squad in place immediately, which we’ve done.

‘As we move forward now the club’s future is the most important thing.

‘The decisions we are making now are not always for today.

Manager aren’t always given the time to be able to do that.

‘We all know the importance of today, but getting stronger and stronger as a club is huge.

‘If you look at what we’ve done, that’s the case.’

– JORDAN CROSS