Cook appointed as new Latics manager

David Sharpe (left) and Latics' new manager Paul Cook
David Sharpe (left) and Latics' new manager Paul Cook

It’s official - Paul Cook is Wigan Athletic’s new manager.

The three-year deal to bring the former Portsmouth boss to the DW Stadium was finally brought over the line today after a week of speculation.

Latics’ interest last weekend sparked an improved deal to Cook being tabled by League Two winners Pompey, but it wasn’t enough to keep the 50-year-old at Fratton Park.

Returning to the club where he spent time as a player from 1984 to ‘88 and again on loan from 2001 to ‘02, Cook will also bring his number two, Leam Richardson with him to the DW Stadium.

Cook takes over from interim manager Graham Barrow, who left Latics on Monday, and will be tasked with trying to restore Wigan to the Championship following last season’s relegation.

Cook will start pre-season with his squad on June 24 as he prepares for the League One campaign, a division Latics won in the 2015/16 season.

The chairman is very positive about keeping hold of our players

Paul Cook

And despite admitting there is a difficult job ahead of him, he has confidence in the strength of his playing squad.

“When you have a team that comes out of the Championship, you’ll carry a strong squad of players,” he said.

“Football’s a difficult game now.

“We seem to get judged so quickly and one of my criticisms of the game in general is that after each game there is an outcry about how good managers are or not and I think you need a period of time, and the players will need that as well.”

The new man in charge hasn’t ruled-out making changes though, and has said he and chairman David Sharpe have already spoken about recruitment.

“The summer recruitment now is important,” Cook explained.

“The chairman is very positive about keeping hold of our players and whether we recruit one or two more and again the chairman is very positive about that.”