News

Cook to complete 'jigsaw' for new look Rovers

November 8, 2018

Having completed a season-long loan deal to take Derry City goalkeeper Pat Jennings to the Showgrounds, Sligo Rovers manager, Paul Cook, is planning to 'put the final pieces in the jigsaw' to complete his squad in the coming weeks.Cook is hoping to add at least a centre-back and a midfielder to a new-look panel which sees Jennings join Chris Butler, Anto Murphy and Sean Doherty.


By Michael Moran, courtesy, The Sligo Champion

HAVING completed a season-long loan deal to take Derry City goalkeeper Pat Jennings to the Showgrounds, Sligo Rovers manager, Paul Cook, is planning to 'put the final pieces in the jigsaw' to complete his squad in the coming weeks.

Cook is hoping to add at least a centre-back and a midfielder to a new-look panel which sees Jennings join Chris Butler, Anto Murphy and Sean Doherty in the side.

Former Middlesbrough, Burnley and Derry City midfielder, Alan Moore, capped eight times by the Republic of Ireland, is also training with Rovers with a view to earning a contract.

'When I look around the dressing room, I genuinely think we are putting together a decent side. But, it needs finishing off.

'I still feel we need a good central defender and a midfielder, plus perhaps one or two others. If we get the sort of quality players I am chasing I would be confident of a top six finish,' Cook predicted.

Derry gave Rovers permission to speak to Jennings last week and the son of Northern Ireland's most capped international, Pat, arrived at the Showgrounds on Monday for pre-season training.

'I'm delighted to have Jennings in. I feel now that I have two goalkeepers (Richard Brush the other) who go a long way towards what I want,' said the manager.

Cook revealed that Brush will start the new season, particular given an agreement with Derry that Pat Jennings will not play against them. Rovers play Derry at the Brandywell on April 11th.

'I really don't mind who plays. There will be no 'number one' as such and it is good to have one player putting another under pressure for a starting place. That sort of competition is healthy,' Cook declared.

'Richard will start as we face Derry reasonably early. We will see how things develop from there,' he added.

Meanwhile, Cook says he has been told that there is finance available to add further new faces to his squad.

'There are what I would call realistic targets out there and I am exploring a few avenues. Hopefully, there will be positive outcome,' he added.

Cook is still pursuing ex-Rovers defender, Liam Burns, who left the Showgrounds to join Bohemians.

'He is certainly a player I would welcome back. As I have said on countless occasions in the past he ticks all the right boxes for me and he would be a great boost to the squad,' he said.

'If we got Liam Burns and one or two others I have in my sights, I would be happy enough,' the manager commented.

Rovers returned for pre-season training on Friday last and Cook is pleased with the shape and condition of the players.

'They are keen and already working hard. We have a system whereby they train for two days and have one day off.

'We have some friendlies coming up in which we will use everyone, but I would urged supporters not to read too much into them,' he added.

Rovers travel to Coolaney on Saturday, February 9th, for a game to mark the official opening of Coolaney United's pitch development and play Finn Harps on February 22nd.

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