Wigan Confirm Richardson as Permanent Boss
Wednesday, 21st Apr 2021 17:57
Wigan Athletic have confirmed the appointment of Leam Richardson, Paul Cook’s Latics, Chesterfield and Portsmouth assistant, as their permanent manager on a three-year deal.
Richardson has been in caretaker charge at the DW Stadium for much of this season and has impressed new owners Phoenix 2021 Ltd.
The 41-year-old didn’t rule out joining Cook at Portman Road after his appointment early in March, however, with Wigan hitting run of form - they have won their last four - to move out of the relegation zone, his permanent appointment by the Latics was looking increasingly likely.
Cook will now have to look elsewhere for his assistant having worked with Richardson first of all at Accrington and then with the Spireites, Pompey and Latics.
Currently on his staff are Gary Roberts, who he brought in as first-team coach, along with Matt Gill, who remains from the previous management in the same role.
Blues U23s coach Kieron Dyer has played an increasing role with the senior side since Cook took over, the new manager having been impressed by the former England international's coaching abilities and he may well be in contention.
As previously reported, former Town central defender John McGreal, who played alongside Cook at Tranmere, is a potential candidate, although we understand the former Colchester boss may not be in the running as he is keen on a management job of his own rather than an assistant's position.
Ex-Blues forward Noel Hunt is believed to have been under consideration for a role at Portman Road by Cook, who he played for at Portsmouth and Wigan, ahead of his appointment having previously worked as an assistant manager at Swindon. The Irishman was at last night’s game at Northampton, presumably scouting on behalf of another club.
Commenting on Richardson’s appointment as boss, Wigan chief executive Mal Brannigan told his club’s official site: “In Leam, this club is fortunate to have an excellent coach, a strong leader and most importantly a person full of integrity – we’re delighted he believes in our vision and wants to lead the club into a bright future.
“Many of the staff and players I speak to talk about the inspiration and motivation Leam has provided to them during this challenging period.
“We have all seen that with the belief the new ownership has provided to the whole club, Leam, Gregor, the staff and players have thrived and that’s really encouraging for a strong and stable future for Wigan Athletic.”
Richardson added: “I’m very proud to have been given the opportunity by the new ownership and Mal. I’m very privileged when you know about the history, heritage and fanbase of the club, so it’s not a hard decision to make.
“I think when you know the history, even back to 1995 when Mr Whelan took the club and built the stadium, and you see the players and the world class managers that have come through.
“From my point of view, if I can emulate half of what they’ve done and really give my all for the fans, I’ll be very proud.”
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