Ex-Wigan Athletic chief opens up on 'two difficult years'

Former Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook has promised 'a lot less hot-headed' version of himself will return to Chesterfield - following 'two difficult years' in his career.

The 54-year-old is back in charge of the Spireites after leaving in 2015.

Since then, Cook took Portsmouth into League One before leading Latics into the Championship and keeping them there.

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Sadly, from then it went wrong, with Latics placed into administration in July 2020 and relegated to League One, which saw Cook quit.

Paul Cook during his Latics daysPaul Cook during his Latics days
Paul Cook during his Latics days

He then endured a miserable nine-month spell in charge at Ipswich, before being relieved of his duties in December.

And while many will be surprised to see him reemerge in the National League, Cook says it was an opportunity he couldn't turn down.

"The club is in a great place and the team is doing fantastically well," he said. "A manager doesn't normally get a job in these circumstances.

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"I wouldn't have dropped out of the (Football) League for any other team than Chesterfield Football Club.

"That's no disrespect to any other team in the Conference, but Chesterfield were the club that gave me my big opportunity when I was coming through at Accrington.

"So when the opportunity to come back here came around I was sitting at home thinking 'why not go back and try and help them?'

"I managed some really good clubs since my first time here, but latterly I haven't enjoyed managing football and that's been a big disappointment for me.

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"This is the perfect opportunity now for me, at a strong position in my career - a lot more experienced, a lot wiser, a lot less hot-headed - to give something back to this club.

"The last two years have been difficult for me if I'm being truthful.

"Eighteen months ago Wigan went into administration, I joined Ipswich Town Football Club to work under Marcus Evans and then Marcus left about six weeks later.

"Then to start a league campaign and only be given 20 games I find very disappointing to say the least, but that's football.

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"My father, who has been a massive influence in my life, passed away in November, so it's been really tough.

"I discussed it with my family, and I'm just delighted to be back in football."

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