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Cook Delighted to Be Back in Football at Chesterfield After Tough Two Years
Friday, 11th Feb 2022 12:11

Former Town boss Paul Cook says he’s delighted to be back in a job having returned to his old club Chesterfield yesterday and admits the last couple of years, including his nine-month spell in charge of the Blues, have been tough.

Cook, who was sacked by Town in December after nine months at Portman Road, was previously in charge at Chesterfield between 2012 and 2015 during which time he saw them to the League Two title and League One play-offs.

The Spireites, who are second in the National League, were managerless after their Ipswich-born boss James Rowe departed by mutual consent on Friday having been suspended on January 24th.

The 54-year-old will be assisted by Danny Webb, the son of former Chelsea and QPR full-back David, first-team coach under Rowe and then caretaker-manager.

“I’m delighted,” he told the Spireites’ 1866 Sport channel. “The club’s in a great place, it’s in a great place off the pitch, the Trust is running the place really, really well. The team is doing fantastically well on the pitch.

“It’s not normal a manager gets a job in these circumstances when everything’s going so well, so I’m just delighted to be here.”

Despite his struggles at Portman Road, Cook might have been expected to walk into another League One job soon enough, so why was he prepared to take a job outside the EFL?

“Just Chesterfield Football Club,” he said. “I wouldn’t have dropped out of the League for any other team in the [National League], obviously that’s no disrespect to any other team.

“I think Chesterfield was the club that gave me my big opportunity when I was coming through, from Accrington.

“They trusted me then. Obviously I’ve watched the results from afar and have been as disappointed as the supporters, then all of a sudden to see the disappointment turning to a little bit of joy, the spirits of the club changing to the position we’re in today.

“When the opportunity came round to come back here, I’m sitting at home thinking ‘Why not?’. Why not go back and try and help them.”

The Liverpudlian admits he’s been through a tough period: “The last two years have been a difficult two years for me, if I’m being truthful, from 18 months ago when Wigan went in to administration.

“From joining Ipswich Town Football Club to work under Marcus Evans, I think Marcus left about six weeks later. He must have seen the warning signs, mustn’t he! He must have realised quickly!

“Marcus sold the club, Ipswich Town are in new ownership. To start a league campaign and only be given 20 games I find very disappointing to say the least, but that’s football today.

“My father, who has been a massive influence in my life, passed away in November, so it’s been really tough.

“Sitting at home with [wife] Joanne and Conor, Gabriella, my children, my other children, Liam, Megan and Kieron, who watch you so much, discussing it, the pitfalls of coming back here against the what-ifs if we can be successful and hopefully go up and hopefully go up again and restore the club to a place where I left it.

“That’s the challenge for me and the staff and the players. I’m delighted to be back in football.”

Photo: TWTD

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itfcsuth added 12:14 - Feb 11
Wish him nothing but the best. No bad blood, no animosity at all - sometimes it just doesn't work out at certain clubs for certain reasons.

He'll find success again, proper footballing man.

MattinLondon added 12:16 - Feb 11
Good luck to Cook I hope he does well. But he seems to have forgotten that he had a fair few games last season as well.

peteswindon added 12:52 - Feb 11
Well if there is a man made to mess it up it is this idiot.

benrhyddingblue added 12:53 - Feb 11
Good luck Paul, but you need to work on your maths. It wasn't 20 games but 44 and a win percentage of less than 30%

Europablue added 12:53 - Feb 11
I can understand complaining about not getting enough time when you are trying to look good for potential clubs, but when you've found yourself a job, it's time to shut up about it. It's lucky that we don't have such a deluded boss now. I feel empathy for Paul, and he had some really tough circumstances that made it difficult to manage us, but he also made a lot of his footballing problems. Anyway, I wish him well for the future.

NthQldITFC added 12:56 - Feb 11
Good luck Cookie, hope it goes well. Thanks for giving it a bash here, we all move on.

Saxonblue74 added 13:06 - Feb 11
Agree he didn't have enough time, but thankfully working out well for us. Good luck PC, the game needs characters like you.

Pencilpete added 13:22 - Feb 11
Whatever Paul Cooks shortcomings were as manager here I don’t think any of us can argue the fact he is a totally decent man who loves the game, he hasn’t shot his mouth off like MM or Roy Keane and Sometimes a manager and a club are just a good fit a bit like Nathan Jones and Luton Town, maybe Paul Cook and Chesterfield are that good fit for each other and I hope he does well there.

ArnieM added 13:24 - Feb 11
Good luck Paul, you’re a good honest guy in the gsme but it just didn’t work out for you here . Onwards and upwards for you at Chesterfield 👍

Orraman added 13:35 - Feb 11
Can we just forget about Cook now. The only good thing he did here was to get sacked and therefore open the door for Kieran McKenna

budgieplucker added 13:45 - Feb 11
Be rooting for Chesterfield, I never doubted Cookie’s ability and he does have a decent CV.

In many ways a down to earth and decent guy so pleased that he has made this statement (rather than I have worked for big clubs), I am not saying Wigan and Portsmouth are not big clubs but with the history and heritage of Town and our fan base (just look at the pitiful home gates for Wigan and they are pushing an automatic promotion and struggle to get 10,000), then the pressure to achieve was always going to be greater especially under the new American ownership who will demand visible progress. It was just unfortunate that as we just looked like finding our feet with all the new players that we were starting to move backward and PC didn’t do anything but more of the same. Not a tactician and maybe a good motivator if you were a PC person.

I always had my doubts after reading that Ashton interviewed him for Bristol City and supposedly dismissed him as not fitting the culture of the club he was running. So I thought without rapid success e.g. play offs this year as a minimum then he would be replaced by someone Ashton thought he might be able to get closer too.

Nevertheless, I remain a Cook fan but pragmatic about the situation and guess his severance will keep him financially happy for quite some time allowing him back to Chesterfield to enjoy a couple of years or so before any further ventures.

Good luck Cookie,

Europablue added 13:46 - Feb 11
Orraman I think a lot of people on here were so eager to start again that they supported PC when he basically threw out the baby with the bathwater by getting rid of almost every player in his role as demolition man. Because PC has a likable character and he was doing his best, we forget the damage that he did. Still, he brought a lot of good players in, and KM had a decent foundation to build from.

Cakeman added 13:59 - Feb 11
All the very best Paul, I’m sure you will do well at Chesterfield.

cressi added 14:00 - Feb 11
A decent man yes
But football is about results and progress and under Cook there was neither on a consistent basis and you had 40 games plus Mr Cook you threw everyone under the bus to be knocked down by it yourself we move on

Ipswichbusiness added 14:40 - Feb 11
He was right to move on the old guard (just look at Colchester’s results), but couldn’t make the new look Town work. The dreadful start to the season which we had under him is what is killing our promotion chances now.

Anyway, I wish him all the best at his new club.

Vancouver_Blue added 14:45 - Feb 11
Cookie had more than enough time, and it was obvious things weren't going to get better.

Europablue added 14:52 - Feb 11
Ipswichbusiness I'd question whether PC was right to move on Dozzel, Downes, and Bishop, but of course he was right to move on the others who went to Colchester. Still, it was very disrespectful to talk about being a demolition man.
Anyway, that is water under the bridge at this point. I'm very happy with where we are at now with the right manager in.

Carberry added 14:56 - Feb 11
Budgieplucker, I wonder what Ashton's culture was at Bristol City that Cook wasn't right for? Cook strikes me as a very decent bloke, a footballing man with a good pedigree. I get the impression Ashton wants a lot of control and maybe that suits our new rookie manager. Shame the Financial Director got shown the door too after many years of great service to the club.

BeattiesBackPocket added 14:57 - Feb 11
Good luck to Cookie in his new job. All those banging on constantly about him getting rid of players etc most are at smaller league one or two clubs some of which are in the process of getting Colchester relegated so clearly the reset needed to happen. He has bought in allot of talent for this league and given McKenna an excellent base to start with. Again good luck cookie and ignore a minority of fickle fans on here

Guthrum added 15:04 - Feb 11
Nice to hear him expressing his love and gratitude towards Chesterfield, to the extent of going to manage them even in the National League.

brittaniaman added 16:10 - Feb 11
If Cookie Had got Liam Richardson with him at Ipswich it might have been a different story today ?
instead he had these Rookie coaches who were not up to the Job of getting Promotion for us.
I have noticed that he has not taken these Rookies with him this time.

cat added 17:36 - Feb 11
Thanks for the entertaining football Cookie (the best we have watched in years FACT) and thanks for demolishing (lol) last season joke of a squad. Two massive reasons to be grateful! Good luck Sir, I salute you!

blues1 added 18:52 - Feb 11
Carberry. U say he seems a decent guy. Tryvasking the management and staff of rushmere and woodbridge golf courses. Dont think they'll share ur view. As for the rubbish he's spouted that he came to work for Evans only for him to sell 6 weeks later, as if he wasn't aware of that? No1 can surely believe Evans didn't make him aware he was selling, when he offered him the job. However, as he was a manager I'd wanted here before, it's a shame it never worked out, and I wish him well in his new job.

ArnieM added 20:18 - Feb 11
Orraman : who do you think brought this current squad into this club then ?

rendoblue added 20:25 - Feb 11
Brought some good players in over the summer but it just didn’t work. Can’t look at whats been brought in and not see where they bring something to the team or will in due course. Good luck to him.

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