Speculation is 'a nice thing' insists Wigan Athletic supremo

Wigan Athletic executive chairman Darren Royle is happy boss Paul Cook is being reportedly courted by rival sides - because it shows he and the club and doing something right.

Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 11:18 pm
Paul Cook, Jonathan Jackson and Darren Royle with host Chris Milow at the Latics fans forum.

Cook has been linked with the managerial vacancy at Sunderland since Jack Ross was sacked earlier this month, although Latics would be reluctant to lose the man who brought them up to the Championship and kept them there in his two seasons in charge.

After a brief spell as bookies' favourite, Cook has drifted out to 20/1, with former Bolton boss Phil Parkinson now the heavy odds-on favourite.

But Royle has taken the past few days as a positive rather than a negative.

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"It's a nice thing," said Royle, speaking at Tuesday night's fans forum at the DW Stadium.

"Because if you manager isn't getting linked with other clubs and vacancies, then there's probably an obvious performance issue.

"The fact Paul is (being linked with other clubs), and he has a successful CV, is no surprise.

"It could be a problem in the future, but that's also a nice thing, because it shows Paul and his team are doing some good things."

Chief executive Jonathan Jackson also commented on the matter for the first time.

“No club have been given permission to speak to our manager," he said.

"As you see in the news, a few Championship clubs are looking for managers at the moment.

"If any club had approached us, we would have to respect their privacy.”