Paul Cook reacts to Leam Richardson's decision to say with Wigan Athletic

Paul Cook has reacted in philosophical fashion to Leam Richardson's decision to take the Wigan Athletic manager's job on a full-time basis.
Leam Richardson, with Paul Cook and Gary Roberts during the recent visit of IpswichLeam Richardson, with Paul Cook and Gary Roberts during the recent visit of Ipswich
Leam Richardson, with Paul Cook and Gary Roberts during the recent visit of Ipswich

Richardson had been tipped in many quarters to follow Cook - with whom he'd previously worked at Chesterfield, Portsmouth and Wigan - at the end of the campaign.

But following the takeover at Wigan of Phoenix 2021 Limited, Richardson has accepted the challenge of being in charge of the long-term rebuild.

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All of which leaves Cook - and trusted lieutenant Gary Roberts - with another problem to take care of at Portman Road.

“It’s football guys, isn’t it? It’s circumstances. It’s all of the above," Cook said during his weekly media conference.

“If anyone could have predicted the outcome for Wigan’s scenario, coming up for 12 months on (from his departure), no-one would have.

“We had staff there. Anthony Barry is now Chelsea’s first-team coach, Nick Colgan is now Nottingham Forest’s goalkeeping coach, Andrew Procter (medical) is at Blackburn; Nick Meace (sports science) is at Stoke. The list goes on.

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“All that shows to me is how lucky and privileged I was to have such good staff working for me.

“That cycle, for me, has gone on since my start in management at Sligo, into Chesterfield, into Portsmouth, into Wigan and it will go on.

“The most important thing for Paul Cook is my burning desire and ambition to be successful and win football games.

“Unfortunately those staff have moved on and all with my blessing, absolutely. When you’re out of work it’s a tough time for everyone.

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“Paul Cook didn’t know when he’d come back into work. I can’t ask lads to sit at home and wait for me to make a decision.

“People have families, players out of contract have families. Nowadays, especially with what’s going on in the world, it’s tough out there for people.

“I’m in a very privileged position. I’m football manager of a great club. That, behind the scenes, will change for me.

“I will be working with new personnel, new staff going forwards.

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"As long as the staff have the same hunger and desire to be successful, and enthusiasm, which is huge in football – too many people talk a good game and don’t produce, a bit like myself at Ipswich at the minute – and then everything will be fine at the club."

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