Pompey boss delivers Paul Jones verdict

Paul Jones. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Jones. Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Paul Jones made 52 appearances for Pompey last season
  • Has now racked up 173 successive matches spread over three clubs

Paul Jones has been given the green light to start Pompey’s pre-season fixture schedule in goal.

But Paul Cook has warned no place in his Pompey side is safe.

Jonesie and Pokie are the two lads here at the club, we will go into pre-season with them

Paul Cook

Jones was the Blues’ only ever-present last season and once again will be number one heading into the new campaign.

He will continue to be backed up by Michael Poke, although the keeper has still to make an appearance for the club.

Cook has overhauled his playing squad since arriving in May, with seven recruits and 12 departing.

More comings and goings are anticipated ahead of the August 8 kick-off, as he continues to finalise his set-up.

At present, though, Cook’s goalkeeping pool remains unaffected.

He said: ‘The goalkeepers are under as much pressure as everyone else. What they have got is the first shot at it.

‘When you are holding a position down it is your job to keep it.

‘People will always say “Well I didn’t get this” or “I didn’t get that”, but the first person to blame if you don’t keep your place is yourself.

‘Jonesie and Pokie are the two lads here at the club, we will go into pre-season with them.

‘However, it is not a threat when I say to players if I don’t feel people are at it you will be given a warning, you will be handed a yellow card, maybe even a yellow card or two.

‘But eventually they will leave the club.

‘It’s not trying to rule with fear, the biggest fear I have is losing my job. If I was to lose my job not managing the way I see correct then I wouldn’t be a happy person.

‘I believe in fitness and work ethic, and wanting to be the best player you can be is important.

‘If you can get lads on side like that – and they have ability and talent – I think it takes care of itself.’

Jones made 52 appearances last season, two more than Jed Wallace. In total, he has now amassed 173 consecutive starts during spells with Peterborough, Crawley and now Pompey.

It’s a proud record which stretches back to February 18, 2012, when he turned out for the Posh in a 3-0 win over Bristol City.

As for Poke, he was a regular on the bench for the Blues last term as Jones’ understudy.

On occasions of being injured, Alex Bass was promoted by the Academy, while free agent Peter Brezovan and loanee David Cornell were also named.