Chesterfield: Wanted Cook focused on Spireites challenge

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

Spireites boss Paul Cook insists he remains focused on Chesterfield’s promotion push following Portsmouth’s failed approach for him.

The League Two club contacted the Spireites on Thursday night asking for permission to speak with the 48-year-old about the managerial vacancy at Fratton Park, but their approach was turned down.

Portsmouth have been searching for a new boss since axing Andy Awford last week and have identified Cook, who steered Chesterfield to the League Two championship and the final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy last season, as the person to turnaround their fortunes.

Spireites director of football Chris Turner labelled the timing of Pompey’s approach as “disturbing”. Chesterfield, lying in sixth position in League One, host champions Bristol City today knowing a win will guarantee a play-off place.

“It’s not about Paul Cook and any club that would be interested in him,” said Cook. “It’s about this club getting to the play-offs. I’ve had the best two and half years of my life and long may it continue.”

Asked if his loyalties were currently being tested, Cook said: “No, not at all. How can my loyalty be tested, we’ve got to get in the play-offs?

“I don’t want to be disrespectful to Portsmouth. I don’t want to be disrespectful to us. I just want to try and get promotion.”