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Who is Paul Cook?
Monday, 1st Mar 2021 20:00

With Paul Cook looking set to be named Town manager later this week, TWTD looked at the 54-year-old’s background.

Cook has been the favourite for the boss’s job at Portman Road since the end of last week with his appointment linked to the US-backed takeover.

However, TWTD reported in January that Cook had been spoken to by current owner Marcus Evans as he looked at his options with Paul Lambert’s position looking increasingly precarious.

And at this lunchtime’s press conference, general manager Lee O’Neill insisted the new boss’s appointment is unrelated to the takeover, which we understand has made significant progress and has gone as far as being with the EFL for their ratification.

Talks with Cook are well progressed and we understand the new man could be confirmed the new Town manager as soon as Wednesday or Thursday.

As previously revealed, former Blues winger Gary Roberts, coincidentally a player with tomorrow’s opponents Accrington, and ex-Town forward Noel Hunt are under consideration for positions on Cook’s staff with previous members of his backroom team currently in jobs.

Leam Richardson, his assistant with Portsmouth and Wigan, is the caretaker-manager of the Latics, while his first team coach while with the Lancastrians, Anthony Barry, is now assistant head coach at Chelsea. Keeper-coach Nick Colgan is working at Nottingham Forest.

Given his experience as assistant manager at Swindon, a role he left in December, Hunt, 38, would appear to be the more likely appointment assuming Cook’s scope for bringing in staff is limited with current caretaker-manager Matt Gill and keeper-coach Jimmy Walker set to stay at Town.

Kirkby-born Cook was a central midfielder in his playing days, starting his career with non-league Marine before moving on to Wigan, Norwich for a short spell in the 1998/89 season, Wolves, Coventry, Tranmere, Stockport, Burnley (initially on loan), another stint with Wigan on loan and finally Accrington Stanley.

Cook moved into management with Southport in June 2006 but departed Haig Avenue the following January.

In April 2007 Cook took charge of League of Ireland side Sligo Rovers. Having guided Rovers to fourth and a European place, he left by mutual consent in January 2009 only to return 13 days later.

Despite tight finances, Cook saw Sligo to the 2009 FAI Cup final but they were beaten 2-1 by Sporting Fingal.

However, in 2010 they did carry off some silverware, the League Cup, then they followed that up by an on-penalties victory over Shamrock Rovers in the FAI Cup the same season and retained the trophy the following season via another win on spot-kicks against Shelbourne.

In February 2012 Cook took charge of Accrington but having finished 14th in League Two in 2011/12 he departed in the October when he took charge at Chesterfield.

Cook took the Spireites to the League Two title in 2013/14 and then the following year to sixth and a play-off place in League One.

That success led to his move to Pompey in May 2015 and two years later he guided the Hampshire side to the League Two title.

In May 2017, Cook was named manager of Wigan following their drop into League One and led them to the title in 2017/18 as well as FA Cup shocks against Premier League West Ham, Bournemouth and Manchester City as they reached the quarter-finals.

He resigned in July last year following the Latics’ administration, resultant 12-point deduction and relegation to League One. Without the points deduction they would have finished 13th.

Overall at his six clubs as a manager Cook’s win percentage stands at 43.1.

Since leaving Wigan, he has been linked with a number of jobs in the Championship, among them the positions at Cardiff City, which he is understood to have turned down, and Sheffield Wednesday.

Cook is set to become the 18th Blues manager of the professional era and the fourth named Paul during the Evans era. Fans will hope Cook can bring the success which eluded Messrs Jewell, Hurst and Lambert.

Photo: Action Images

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Help added 20:08 - Mar 1
Will he, Is he, wont he?

Pencilpete added 20:08 - Mar 1
Oh no he had a short spell with Norwich.... that'll automatically make him the antichrist with some on here !!!

Jesney_Havoc added 20:18 - Mar 1
Wasn’t he drummer with the Pistols once ?

Suffolk_n_Proud added 20:19 - Mar 1
Not particularly bothered by Paul Cook, nothing exciting but we need a change and time will tell. Hope he succeeds where so many before him have failed

BlueandTruesince82 added 20:20 - Mar 1
Unarmed Phil? Is he changing his name from Paul by deed poll after our previous?

ArnieM added 20:20 - Mar 1
So the question that still burns in my brain is .

Why would a decent manager like Paul Cook dr line two championship club approaches and join x as League one club with an owner who hasn’t over recent years given his managers much money to spend ? Why would he come to ITFC?

grow_our_own added 20:31 - Mar 1
Another journeyman with no affiliation with Ipswich. It's like we never had a glorious legacy to tap into. Whenever we've chosen from among the hall of fame, the manager has succeeded.

magnus68 added 20:33 - Mar 1
Why the rush to appoint this looser. Let Gills lead the team until end of this season.

timkatieadamitfc added 20:33 - Mar 1
Yes Arnie does make you wonder, if Evans is staying he clearly won’t back him that much if any in the transfer market, so what would be the attraction with us, or is it already done that Evans is selling up - time will tell
One thing for sure he did a fantastic job at Wigan, I’d be happy with him being appointed

Ipswichbusiness added 20:33 - Mar 1
Arnie; big salary?

TimmyH added 20:34 - Mar 1
@ArnieM - Evans wonga speaking louder?

tetchris added 20:34 - Mar 1
It will probably be Harris or Pardew knowing ME

Marcus added 20:34 - Mar 1
The club has been Paul-y recently...

**gets coat**

norfolkbluey added 20:35 - Mar 1
Not particularly impressed as rate 43% ! No judgement yet but I just hope he's got a plan 'B' incase things don't go according to plan 'A'. Still hope for a higher profile manager such as Eddie Howe or Lampard but then why would they drop two divisions but I guess that's where we are these days. Good luck to whoever turns up next.

Timefliesbyintheblue added 20:38 - Mar 1
Because ArnieM he possibly holds ITFC in higher esteem than you do. We are still a very good employer and have a well respected position throughout the game. Sometimes you have to take your turn in being unsuccessful, and this has been our turn. Yes mistakes have been made, but owning a football club is tough nowadays and only going to cost you shed loads of money.
Do not believe all you read in the media, especially social media, and remember Ipswich Town is a club where many would love the opportunity to manage.
One day our turn will come again, fingers crossed it is sooner rather than later.

essextractorboy93 added 20:56 - Mar 1
Exciting news! Wanted Cook or Cowley so very happy with this!

tazdac added 20:56 - Mar 1
So he’s not been involved with any “big” clubs then? ;o)

jas0999 added 20:58 - Mar 1
Good record at past three jobs. Unlike lambert.

Calderboy added 21:01 - Mar 1
Very short spell at Norwich minus 9 years

OliveR16 added 21:04 - Mar 1
He's managed quite a few lost causes. In that sense he'll fit in a treat.
I'd have much preferred someone who had showed ability to turn lost causes round though.
He should be able to get us back up if we're relegated to League 2.
That's about it.

Monkey_Blue added 21:13 - Mar 1
Not inspired by him...would prefer Dyer to be honest but if he gets the job he’ll have my support. He does seem to have managed clubs with bigger resources than the league they were in’s norm.

boltzak added 21:14 - Mar 1
Don’t think he’ll do anything with a lot more money then his predecessors.

chorltonskylineblue added 21:15 - Mar 1
The two jobs in the Championship were short-term deals to the end of the season, so not surprising he didn't want them.

ArnieM added 21:21 - Mar 1
Timefliesbyintheblue: I suggest following this Club through thick n thin for over 50 years suggest that I hold my club in very high esteem. Owners, managers and players have come and gone in that time and they’ve all gone on their merry way at some point. The ONLY constant is me and fans like me , and I’m still here shouting for them from the stands home and away .

Bluearmy_81 added 21:47 - Mar 1
I can tell you're a true fan Arnie. You also realise the cause of towns plight and you aren't interested in apologising for or making excuses for the 14 year failure. Good man.

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