We’ve been battered - but Paul Cook will energise us

Pompey manager Paul Cook. Picture: Sarah Standing (150875-737)
Pompey manager Paul Cook. Picture: Sarah Standing (150875-737)
  • Chief executive backs impact of Cook in first full week in charge
  • Catlin tells of background checks on new boss

PAUL COOK has been backed to ‘energise’ a ‘battered’ Pompey.

Chief executive Mark Catlin believes the new Blues boss has quickly injected a vitality into his new club.

I truly believe we have the right man to energise this club.

Mark Catlin

Cook was unveiled as manager last week following his arrival from Chesterfield.

And the 48-year-old has wasted no time setting to work on rejuvenating Pompey’s fortunes in his first full week in charge.

Nine of the 11 out-of-contract players departed on Monday, with four backroom staff leaving their positions.

It’s been a no-nonsense introduction from Cook, as he cuts a swathe through the senior personnel.

But Catlin has noticed his impact in lifting a club who have failed to deliver on the pitch in its two full seasons of community ownership.

And it’s that vibrancy he believes will soon be rubbing off on Pompey’s supporters.

Catlin said: ‘Paul energises people. Everyone around the club has been pretty battered by things over the past couple of years.

‘A lot of what has gone on off the pitch have been our successes.

‘But the focus has to lie on what takes place on the pitch.

‘I truly believe we have the right man to energise this club.

‘I’ve been using the word whirlwind – and that’s what it’s been like working with Paul.

‘He’s come in and wants to shake things up.

‘He wants to get things done quickly and he won’t accept second best.

‘He has an aura.

‘Wherever he goes, he influences people around himself and puts smiles on faces. He inspires people.

‘He can allow supporters to be excited about the future.’

Catlin gave an insight into the feedback the board received on Cook when they were carrying out their due diligence over the managerial appointment.

They spoke to a number of people over the Scouser and his suitability for the position at Fratton Park.

The feedback was unanimously positive on that front, which backed his record of success in his managerial career so far.

The board made it clear that ensured he was their over-riding favoured choice to succeed Andy Awford, after he left the club in April.

Catlin is confident the result is the club appointing the right man to deliver the success at League Two level the club is now desperately craving.

He said: ‘Paul was always the one.

‘He ticks the boxes and we did our homework on him.

‘You listen to people in the game and the way they talk about him.

‘When we had the board meeting after doing our background work, the feedback from the board on Paul was incredible.

‘Paul has set the bar high, as high as it can get really, in terms of promotion.

‘Paul has a proven track record. He’ll be driving everyone at the club forward.

‘That’s what we need.

‘I don’t think it’s lip-service either – I think this guy is going to deliver.’