Boss reveals Championship ambition

Chesterfield lost out to Preston in the play-offs
Chesterfield lost out to Preston in the play-offs
  • Cook aiming to take Pompey into second tier
  • Pompey boss refusing to set timescale to make it to Championship

PAUL COOK has revealed his Championship ambition.

The Pompey boss believes playing in the second tier of English football should be his new club’s aim.

I do think we can get Portsmouth into the Championship.

Paul Cook

But Cook has refused to put a timescale on guiding the Blues back to the level where he reckons they belong.

The scouser has been quick to lay down a promotion target after being confirmed as manager.

And now he has outlined his plans to get the club back into the division they left in 2012.

Cook went within a whisker of securing back-to-back promotions with Chesterfield before leaving the Proact Stadium earlier this month.

Play-off semi-final defeat to Preston denied the Spireites completing an improbable achievement.

But now Cook is out to guide his new club to the division his former club just missed out on.

The 48-year-old underlined the prospect of having an all-encompassing impact at Pompey, as he aims to hit that target, stood out to him.

Cook said: ‘It’s the appeal of building the club. It’s the appeal of thinking where could we take this club.

‘I believe, in today’s market, we could be a Championship club.

‘The Premier League is a completely different animal.

‘But I do think we can get Portsmouth into the Championship.

‘If that’s possible we’ll do everything possible to achieve it.’

Cook wouldn’t be drawn on how long he feels it will take to get Pompey back into the Championship.

The Blues have spent just two seasons in the last 12 at that level.

But that is the division, historically, the club are most closely associated with.

Pompey have spent a total of 40 seasons in the second tier of English football.

That’s compared to 33 campaigns in the top flight – the other division they are closely linked with.

The club have spent 11 seasons in the third tier and will start their fifth season in the basement division in August.

Cook joked he was allowing himself a wide window of opportunity to fulfil his ambitions.

He wasn’t seriously committing to putting down a timeframe for leaping two leagues.

Cook said: ‘I’ve got a 20-year plan!

‘It’s going to take time.’

Meanwhile, Pompey have once again been made favourites to gain promotion from League Two next season.

Sky Bet have made the Blues a clear 5/1 first choice to go up as winners in the new campaign.

It’s the third season on the bounce the club have been given that status, after coming up short on previous occasions.

Oxford United, Leyton Orient, Luton and Bristol Rovers are joint second favourites at 12/1.

Northampton, Notts County and Plymouth are priced 14/1 with play-off finalists, Wycombe, an 18/1 shot to win the league.