‘Paul Cook had an aura... but I didn’t see him as a manager’

Paul Cook
Paul Cook
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Steve Walsh is delighted to see his former Latics team-mate Paul Cook doing well in charge – but admits he didn’t think he would succeed in management!

Walsh made more than 120 appearances in a four-year spell at Latics during 1982 to 1986, establishing himself as a no-nonsense central defender at Springfield Park.

He moved on to Leicester City here he went onto to become Foxes legend, making more than 350 appearances in a 14-year stay.

But Walsh revealed that Cook has always been a larger than life character, and a motivator in the dressing room.

“He was a right laugh in the dressing room, playing jokes on everyone and was the life and soul of the dressing room,” said Walsh.

“He was a great guy, a great lad, and motivated other players to play well.”

Walsh was full of praise for Cook, although he initially didn’t believe the Latics boss would be successful in the managerial world.

“I didn’t see him as a manager, but I never did with Simon Grayson either,” he admitted.

“It’s bizarre that you think he could manage a team but these things happen.

“Paul is a great person to have around, he has a fantastic aura, and was technically a very good player.”

The former Latics defender believes that Cook was an excellent acquisition for the club, and firmly believes that Wigan are destined for success under the Liverpudlian.

“I always believe that ex-players staying inside football and managing clubs that they played for is always a good thing,” he said.

“They have a presence that lifts the club and Paul was well respected, a great player, and a great signing for the club.

“He’ll know when things aren’t going well, he’ll know how to get the players to knuckle down and get the players playing again.

“They’ve got a fantastic chance of getting promoted. With Paul Cook as manager, they’re playing the right football and attracting the right players – they are a Championship team so I have no doubt they’ll be promoted.”

The 52-year-old is still thankful to Wigan for providing him with a platform to have a successful footballing career.

“I have some very special memories at Wigan Athletic,” he said.

“I remember playing my first game for them at Maine Road in the Milk Cup and we lost 2-0. I loved the place and thank them for the springboard that took me to Leicester.”

Steve Walsh was speaking in an interview with bwin. For the full article and interview with Steve Walsh,visit here