Pompey: Paul Cook set to become loan arranger

Brandon Haunstrup. Picture: Joe Pepler

Brandon Haunstrup. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Pompey will look to kickstart their loan plans next week.

And the Blues are close to announcing a friendly against Premier League opposition next month.

We’ll look to get one or two out on loan to keep them up to speed.

Paul Cook

Paul Cook is aiming to move players out from his squad to gain experience after Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy trip to Exeter City.

Cook explained a stint away from Fratton Park was turned down by one squad member last week.

But the 48-year-old will not look to push players out of the door.

He said: ‘I’ll never force people out.

‘One of our lads turned down a loan move last week I thought may have been beneficial for him.

‘I do think lads should be playing football regularly.

‘With the games we’ve had, there’s a chance for everyone to play.

‘After Exeter, though, if lads haven’t had a lot of minutes, we’ll look to get one or two out on loan to keep them up to speed.

‘That’s how I look at it. I don’t want lads going three, four or five weeks without playing football. It’s not right in my opinion.’

Cook has highlighted Brandon Haunstrup and Ben Tollitt as two players who will benefit from a loan move.

Haunstrup has seen starts arrive in the Capital One Cup against Reading and Derby.

Tollitt has had to be content with cameo appearances off the bench in both games.

Cook wants both players to get to a level where they can come straight into the first-team picture with the intensity the manager expects.

Cook said: ‘I want to move out players like Brandon Haunstrup. These players need experience.

‘That’s so they can come into our team match fit and not training fit. That’s the difference.

‘We have players like Ben Tollitt, for example. He’s a frighteningly good player.

‘At the minute, though, we’re going too long without seeing him.’

Cook added he is happy to take a relaxed attitude towards players searching for first-team minutes.

He is understanding of the fact they have to find the right circumstances to suit them when it comes to finding a loan club.

Cook said: ‘If the loan move isn’t right, it might be geography. Our lads down here are quite remote.

‘He then has to go somewhere and go training.

‘It’s not quite as easy as we think. If I felt it was right for the player to go, I would’ve pushed it a lot stronger than I have. But it’s good to let the lads breathe.’

Meanwhile, Pompey are close to announcing a friendly against Premier League opposition.

A match against a top-flight side is being earmarked to take place at Westleigh Park next month. Cook feels that is necessary with no reserve team operating this season.

He said: We have a cracking friendly coming up in September. They are good games for the lads. It’s important they are tested.’