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Cook: In Terms of Staff, We’re Very, Very Strong
Friday, 30th Jul 2021 12:55

Blues boss Paul Cook has explained why he has opted not to name an assistant manager, believing his staff is strong enough without anyone in that role.

Cook had been expected to name an assistant this summer with Leam Richardson, his deputy at Chesterfield, Portsmouth and Wigan, having been tipped for the role.

However, early in the summer Richardson was named the Latics boss on a permanent basis having been the caretaker for much of last season.

Cook has had to assemble a new backroom team with most of his Wigan staff now at other clubs.

Former Blues winger Gary Roberts joined as a first-team coach last season and Franny Jeffers came in in the same role in the summer along with coach Ian Craney, goalkeeper-coach John Keeley, director of performance Andy Rolls and a number of other fitness and sports science staff working under him.

“One of my coaches is now first-team coach at Chelsea, Anthony Barry. Nick Colgan, the goalkeeping coach is now at Nottingham Forest, Andrew Proctor is head of physiotherapy at Blackburn. Nick Meace [another physio] has gone to Stoke and all of them with my blessing,” Cook said.

“I resigned at Wigan for a reason, I didn’t want those lads being out of work waiting for me because in management you never know if you’re going to wait for a job or when your next job will come.

“When I was coming into Ipswich it was going to be a change of management. Management can be tough. We’re very lucky at the club, Andy Rolls has come in as head of performance and brought some staff in in the sports science department, which I’ve got to tell you, some of the stuff the players get now I haven’t even seen.

“They’re that thorough on data on injuries, on workload during the week, it’s amazing.

“The football side of it was put together with Ian Craney coming in, who was previously the kitman at Wigan. Ian wasn’t the kitman at Wigan but it was the only job title I could get him into the club in.

“That wasn’t his job, Wigan had other kitmen. Ian’s around the players on the grass, he’s such an infectious character who loves football.

“Franny Jeffers was a lad whose career I’d followed. He was coaching at Everton [where he was U23s coach] and I felt he as ready to make the next step up.

“Gary Roberts is a lad who has played for me at my last three clubs. He was obviously very well known to Ipswich fans. A lad who loves football.

‘Football staff have got to love football. We’ve got to be with our players all the time. Today, Gary’s going through clips with Scott Fraser on positional play, Franny Jeffers is talking with the strikers about movement, Ian Craney’s out with players doing passing. We’ve got to make these players better footballers.

“Andy Rolls’s department leads the physicality side of it. There was a lot made of fitness last year and I don’t really feel the need to talk about last year, I genuinely don’t think there’s any point.

“We’ll worry about ourselves and how fit we can be and we’ll let the rest of the league get on with that.

“In terms of staff now, I feel we’re very, very strong. Assistant manager-wise, after losing Leam and being so close to Leam, I didn’t really feel the need to appoint someone as my assistant.

“I’ve got enough opinions and voices that I really trust around me and we will do everything we can to make our club successful. We will play our part, and if we don’t, one day we might have to say goodbye to you but letting you know we’ve done our best.”

Photo: TWTD

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Ipswichbusiness added 13:01 - Jul 30
Terry Butcher would be a very good candidate for the assistant manager role; very experienced and knows the club inside out.

horsfordblue added 13:51 - Jul 30
Sounds to me like Craney is the link between the players and the manager which isnt a bad thing... Sounds like Wigan has 3-4 Kitmen :-)

dav86 added 14:16 - Jul 30
Some people still living in the past

Hamish1979 added 18:40 - Jul 30
That headline was an unpleasant flashback to the Lambert era when everyone and everything was 'really really good' when in fact everyone one and everything was really really crap.

Eddie1985 added 21:06 - Jul 30
So... Wigan can employ multiple kit men but not additional coaches.... Paul..... Are you lying??? I hope he gets us promoted and I love the new signings etc but it seems this is a bit of a Paul Cook dictatorship at times, bombed certain players out despite them having been no worse than players he's kept in, employed scouse yes men as coaches, doesn't want an assistant??? How many managers have no assistant?, I'm sure it's happend but can't think of an example... Strange behavior

bluesteel added 08:36 - Jul 31
Cook: In Terms of The Squad, We’re Very, Very Small

PortmanTerrorist added 10:12 - Jul 31
Can we stop with PC bombed players out Line. Listen to the whole Forum; only players and staff that are good enough AND 100% committed will be why was it so bad for the same criteria to apply to those within the Club. I would love Flynne to be back in the fold, but if there is even a hint he is still weighing up his options then ultimately I completely accept that we don't want that amongst our new first team who are not burdened with the weak/defeatist mentality of the first team of recent seasons.

Monkey_Blue added 12:03 - Jul 31
We have 3 first team coaches with practically no experience of first team coaching.Wigan’s kit man said he was the kit man. As He said “we’ve all been mates for years”. So Cooks staff hiring policy doesn’t just require you to be a scouser…. You have to be his mate as well.

Tampa_Florida_Blue added 15:37 - Jul 31
WOW we have some grumpy people today. Time to buy a new bed so you get a better nights sleep it seems to me.

Eddie1985 added 16:03 - Jul 31
Portman terrorist with respect I would say bombed out us a perfectly adequate description. All players underperformed last season. Then they went on a break and at the start of pre season a few of them were in the first team and many in the u23 team. Those players were bombed out in a seemingly indescriminate Manor. Nolan Norwood wolfenden etc in the first team performed no better or worse than the players who were bombed out. In nolans case it's particularly baffling! There is much to be exited about at our club but it doesn't give people a pass when the behave unfairly. I do have some concerns regarding Cook,. People seem to forget that we were top for a long while and with a good chance of playoffs when Cook took over, the players can't have been that bad or we would never have been top in the first place, Cook performed badly during his games at the end of last year, then he has not got an assistant surrounded himself by inexperienced coaches and his mate from Wigan while getting rid of butcher and many of our homegrown players and has done it in quite a publicly humilating way, even talking to the press about Gary Roberts opinion of how poor the players are. I hope he successful and by that I mean promotion this season

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