Chesterfield: Cook doesn’t rule out making further signings

Spireites boss Paul Cook on the sidelines at Buxton by Tina Jenner
Spireites boss Paul Cook on the sidelines at Buxton by Tina Jenner

Paul Cook has hinted there could be further additions made to his squad before the transfer window shuts on September 2.

The Chesterfield manager has already brought in nine new faces on permanent contracts, as well as Ryan Edwards on loan in recent months.

Cook said he wouldn’t swap his current squad with any other in the division but hasn’t ruled out the possibility of strengthening his ranks for the rigours of a long League Two season.

He said: “We’re always trying to sign players, it’s the nature of the football club. We’re always looking, whether we get something done I don’t know.

“I wouldn’t swap our squad for anyone else’s. I’m not being disrespectful, I’m just very happy with what we’ve got, but we always want to be stronger.”

Former Doncaster Rovers midfielder Martin Woods has been training at the club and featured in Tuesday’s friendly win over a Sheffield Wednesday X1.

Eoin Doyle did his chances of breaking into the first team no harm with a brace in the behind-closed-doors game with Wednesday, in a 2-0 win for the Spireites.

The Irishman scored a hat-trick the Tuesday before and Cook admitted it’s getting increasingly more difficult to leave him out.

“We have a lot of people doing well at the minute and that is what I call a very good football club,” he said. “It’s getting very hard to leave him off the pitch at the minute.”

Club captain Ian Evatt completed 90 minutes in the friendly and is in contention to make his first appearance for the club since his summer return.

Gary Roberts is also expected to feature despite a heel problem that has been of discomfort for the influential forward of late.

Chesterfield travel down to the south coast today (Friday) ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Portsmouth at Fratton Park, in the first meeting between the two sides in more than 30 years.

Guy Whittingham’s Pompey are beginning to find their feet after a heavy 4-1 defeat to Oxford United in front of their own fans on the opening day.

They were dumped out the Capital One Cup days later by Bournemouth but have since picked up with a draw away at Accrington, three points at home to Morecambe and another draw at Mansfield Town on Saturday.

“Guy’s done a fantastic job steering the ship through difficult waters,” said Cook.

“One thing’s for sure they’ll go back up the leagues quickly, whether it’s this year or not remains to be seen.

“Portsmouth, like ourselves, have become a scalp in this league and people raise their game to play you.

“They’ll have to deal with all it but Guy’s well equipped for that.”

Whittingham’s side boast much fire power in the form of veteran strike pairing David Connolly, who already has four goals this season, and Patrick Agyemang. Andy Barcham has also impressed on the left side of midfield.

Cook added: “They’re a good side with threats all over the pitch. They’ve signed good players and he’s got a very strong squad.

“They will be backed by ferocious support but we’ve got good players too and we’re really looking forward to it.

“I always enjoyed going to Portsmouth as a player. The fans are so close to the pitch and it will be a competitive match.”

The Spireites remain unbeaten this season and go into the game having made their best start to a league campaign in 13 years.