Wigan Athletic chief responds to Paul Cook speculation

Leam Richardson reaffirmed his commitment to Wigan Athletic, insisting 'there'a a job to be done here', despite the obvious lure of following Paul Cook to Ipswich.
Leam RichardsonLeam Richardson
Leam Richardson

Former Latics boss Cook was appointed Ipswich boss on Tuesday, which immediately prompted speculation he would look to be reunited with his long-time No.2.

Richardson, though, has his hands full at the moment, with Latics having slipped to rock-bottom in League One with 14 matches to go.

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He is, though, delighted to see Cook back in football - and predicts good time ahead for Ipswich.

"I'm absolutely made up for him," enthused Richardson.

"In my opinion - and obviously I'd be biased, having worked with him so long - I think he's one of the best managers out there.

"How he hasn't kind of kicked on into the Championship or Premier League yet is anyone's guess.

"But he joins an absolutely massive club in Ipswich, with a fantastic owner who's been doing it for a long time, and they're craving success.

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"For Paul to go there, I have absolutely no doubt Ipswich will get success."

When asked if Cook had been on the phone about a reunion in the south east, Richardson was careful not to fan the flames.

"He's never stopped being on the phone to be fair, he's very conscious of the situation here," the Latics interim manager added.

"He's always been there for advice and his own thoughts on things, so that hasn't changed.

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"Everyone's seen my commitment to Wigan, and there'a a job to be done here.

"I don't think anyone can question anyone's integrity...so we'll see what happens."

As reported on Tuesday, Wigan Today understands the pair have held discussions, but Richardson is loath to walk out on Latics with the season about to enter the home stretch.

And having played for and managed Latics, Cook has been careful not to place any pressure on his close friend.

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Clearly with the takeover at Wigan still taking its time, his long-term future remains up in the air.

But for the short term at least - and with so much riding on the final third of the campaign - his focus remains only on the job in hand at the DW.

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