Paul Cook: My Pompey loan frustration

Ben Close Picture: Joe Pepler
Ben Close Picture: Joe Pepler

Paul Cook has revealed his frustration as he struggles to find loan-takers for his bright Pompey talent.

Equipped with a 24-man squad and no reserve team, the Blues boss is eager for his younger fringe players to find game time to aid their development.

Chad Field and Snorre Nilsen are currently at Bognor, while 30-year-old new recruit Rommy Boco yesterday joined the Hawks.

Yet the likes of Brandon Haunstrup, Ben Close and Ben Tollitt are lacking match action and Cook cannot find clubs willing to take them.

He said: ‘It’s tough, it’s the toughest part of the job, it drives me mad that Saturdays come up and lads don’t play and are missing out.

‘I am not particularly bothered about the level, I am not one of these managers who goes “Well, he has got to play at that level”.

‘We spoke to a manager about borrowing one player and he wanted him to go to the Championship. Well, he’s still at the same club and hasn’t played football.

‘There are young lads now – the likes of Brandon and others – who need to play senior football.

‘I would let them play for local teams just to have that little bit of education, but at the minute it’s not happening for them.

‘If Ben was starting on Saturday I wouldn’t blink, he is such a talented young player. If anyone is seen as going out on loan it’s not the end of their career, it’s to get match fitness.

‘I have tried, I have tried, I have tried. Everywhere. Geography will also play a part.

‘You might have a lad on a year’s contract and he might play six games this season, that is not enough.’