Paul Cook's Pompey green light to strengthen

Paul Cook has Pompey's backing to strengthen his squad during the current transfer window.

Thursday, 21st January 2016, 5:01 am
Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler

However, Mark Catlin has vowed the Blues won’t be held to ransom by selling clubs.

The Blues’ coffers have been swelled by their progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Cook is in the market to fine-tune his squad as he seeks a way out of League Two.

A new striker remains a prime objective, particularly with the ongoing frustration in attempts to bring Caolan Lavery back on loan.

A potential loan move for young Liverpool keeper Ryan Fulton is also set to develop following their FA Cup clash with Exeter City last night.

Currently there have yet to be any January arrivals, with only James Dunne and Nigel Atangana leaving the club in terms of contracted players.

Regardless, Cook is being given every assistance in recruiting targets.

Chief executive Mark Catlin said: ‘Myself, the manager, the financial director and the chairman are speaking on a daily basis during this transfer window.

‘But on the whole Paul is very satisfied with his squad and will only bring in someone if he thinks it will strengthen.

‘Obviously we follow Paul’s lead, with him stating he is gradually trying to trim the squad in some areas and strengthen in others.

‘Moving players out doesn’t have to come before recruitment, although in an ideal world that is how it would work out. It’s testament to the board of directors and everyone associated with the club, including the supporters, that financially we are in a position where if the right player came up then we can support the manager.

‘In the summer we bought players – and I suppose you could say a manager.

‘We’re in a very good position because of the tight ship we run.

‘And we will try to put as much money as we get from the FA Cup run into improving the product on the pitch.

‘There is always a willingness from the board to listen to the manager in how he wants to strengthen the squad and obviously a cup run of any sort gives us the flexibility to do that.

‘However, we have to keep following stringent policies when pursuing players, whether that be the size of the fee or salaries we pay out.’

Swindon’s Michael Smith is another who has been linked during the transfer window.

And, in general, Catlin is adamant work is continuing to recruit new arrivals.

He added: ‘Paul isn’t a manager who will bring players in just for the sake of it, it has to be someone he believes with strengthen the squad.

‘In some instances players don’t necessarily want to come, clubs don’t want to release them or financially it is not viable for us at this time being a League Two club.

‘As always, we are actively pursuing to our maximum ability as a club.’