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.”
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