‘Wigan Athletic is very much my future’, says Paul Cook despite Republic of Ireland speculation

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

Paul Cook has ruled himself out of the running to become Republic of Ireland manager, insisting ‘Wigan Athletic is very much my future’.

The Latics boss - who spent five years at the beginning of his managerial career with Sligo Rovers - had been backed in to second favourite behind Mick McCarthy for the post.

But he remains 100 per cent committed to his job at the DW Stadium and says he has ‘no aspirations’ of moving on.

“The important thing for all managers is to be very focused on what you’re doing every day,” he acknowledged.

“I’ve started working here at Wigan in a job I thoroughly enjoy.

“And I have absolutely no aspirations of leaving this club in any way, shape or form.

“We have new owners here who’ve come in and are very clear in their plan, and I very much want to be part of that.

“While any links to other jobs are very, very great - especially at a time when we’re not winning games - for me Wigan Athletic is very much my future.”

When asked whether international management appealed to him further down the line, Cook again nailed his colours to the Wigan mast.

“I don’t get ahead of myself, I genuinely don’t,” he insisted.

“As a manager I’ve been very fortunate...and I’m not sure fortunate’s the right word...but I’ve been very successful in my career.

“I’ve always been lucky enough to have been in charge of my own destiny - and I’ve always prided myself in that.

“I don’t like it...and I’ve got to be careful what I say here...I don’t like it when other people can be in charge of your own destiny, who you don’t want in charge of your own destiny, if that makes sense.

“Certainly at Wigan Athletic, I am very, very happy - albeit we know there’s a lot of work ahead.

“We are in a very tough division, we know there’s no ready-made solutions to our problems.

“But I don’t actively look outside and think: ‘Ooh, that would be a nice job to go into’.

“While the Republic of Ireland would be a fantastic job, maybe in the future and everything else - and I do have an affinity with the place from my time there - I want to be successful here at Wigan first and foremost.

“Wigan Athletic is very much at the forefront of my mind.”