Cook backs squad to handle step up

Portsmouth manager Paul Cook

Portsmouth manager Paul Cook believes his current squad are good enough to compete in League One next season.

Pompey secured automatic promotion from League Two[1] earlier this month, and still have a chance to win the title with two games remaining.

Cook is set to decide on the future of his out-of-contract players, but suggested many will remain next season.

“I can’t see many shocks when it comes to publishing our retained list,” he told BBC Radio Solent.[2]

Club captain Michael Doyle, Enda Stevens and Kyle Bennett are among a number of first-team players whose deals expire this summer.

But Cook says adding depth to the squad will be his main focus over the close season.

“We want to get stronger and to do that, you have to have bigger squads, more players and invest in your infrastructure,” he said.

“Portsmouth want to get back to a level in the football pyramid where we belong and to do that, we’ve got to have a lot of factors in our favour.

“But, if we had to play a game in League One tomorrow and I had to go in with the squad I’ve got now, would it faze me? No, it wouldn’t.

“That speaks volumes for all the players at this club.”

Third-placed Portsmouth, who are four points behind leaders Doncaster, travel to Mansfield on Saturday before hosting Cheltenham in their last League Two game on 6 May.


  1. ^ secured automatic promotion from League Two (
  2. ^ BBC Radio Solent. (

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