Cook tells Sunderland: I'm happy at Wigan - go for Reidy!
Paul Cook insists he's far too focused on Wigan Athletic to be distracted by speculation linking him with Sunderland '“ but wouldn't stand in Peter Reid's way if they came calling.
The Black Cats are searching for a new boss after potting Simon Grayson in midweek, with both Cook and Reid riding high in the new manager betting market.
On a personal note, it’s not something Cook is paying too much attention to.
“This is football,” he acknowledged. “As a manager, if you’re doing well, then there will be speculation. All the speculation is good, but I’m very happy to be here.
“This club is a very happy place to be at the moment, and long may that continue.
“It’s great when you get plaudits, and people are speaking about you well.
“But I’d rather be concentrating on my job here, and working hard to get better.
“I’m very lucky at this club to be backed by a lot of good people, and together we have one target – and I think everyone knows what that is.
“I’m more than happy here, and I can only reiterate that time and time again.
“The problem with football these days, is we’re all clamouring for something – and we can clamour for it too quick.
“For me at the minute, we’re in the midst of being involved in a really good season, we’re doing extra work ahead of the transfer window, and everyone has to stay focused.”
However, Cook left the door wide open for ex-Sunderland chief Reid – who has been part of the Latics coaching staff on an unpaid, voluntary basis since the summer – to return to the club he twice led into the Premier League.
“For Peter, it’s fantastic,” recognised Cook. “I’ve said before I think it’s an absolute crime someone like Peter wasn’t involved in and around a football club.
“The experience, the enthusiasm, the knowledge...he was first in this morning, watching videos on Crawley.
“If someone like Sunderland did look to go down that road, I’d be very much for it.
“And I think he’d be fantastic for Sunderland.”
Cook admits the presence of Reid on the training ground at Euxton in recent months has proved invaluable.
“It’s been great for everyone – for myself, for Leam (Richardson, assistant manager), for Anthony (Barry, first-team coach), for the whole staff. We talk about football for hours.
“People wondered when Peter arrived what kind of a role he would have. But there was never any specific role.
“It was just about having Peter in the football club.
“I think the chairman and Peter kick each other in the directors box when the game’s going on, it’s like that.
“It’s invaluable having someone like him to bounce off. Every day with Peter you’re learning something.
“I might have been tough on one of the lads, but then you’ll see Peter whispering in his ear later, offering something else.
“As a football person, I enjoy football people, and Peter is a real football person.”