A blow for Cook as trusted assistant Richardson gets full-time Wigan job

Paul Cook and Leam Richardson will meet on the DW Stadium touchline this weekend

Paul Cook's long-time assistant, Leam Richardson, is now the full-time Wigan manager - Credit: PA

Paul Cook will be on a lookout for a new assistant manager this summer after trusted No.2 Leam Richardson was given a full-time deal as Wigan boss. 

Cook arrived at Ipswich at the start of March with Gary Roberts following as part of his coaching staff, but it was widely expected Richardson would follow this summer to team up with his old boss once again. 

The pair have experienced great success together, winning League One with the Latics as well as securing the League Two title with both Portsmouth and Chesterfield, during a long association which dates back to their time together at Accrington Stanley. 

But that association won’t continue at Ipswich Town, with Richardson now in possession of a three-year contract as Wigan manager, having impressed as caretaker during the course of this season. 

Paul Cook at Wigan with Leam Richardson on Saturday

Paul Cook at Wigan with Leam Richardson on Saturday - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Richardson said: “I’m very proud to have been given the opportunity by the new ownership and Mal (Brannigan, new CEO). 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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Cook and Richardson faced each other at the DW Stadium at the end of March, with the two sides playing out a 0-0 draw. 

Cook was asked about a potential reunion at Ipswich, soon after his appointment, saying: "Watch this space. Leam Richardson’s been my assistant manager at every club. 

"But, what I did feel alongside speaking with Leam, the reality of revisiting that situation when Wigan are in a relegation fight, when we both have a massive affinity to Wigan Athletic Football Club, is that I didn’t think that would be correct and proper enough to visit that situation now. So maybe we might revisit that situation at a later date. 

"But going forward, I want everybody to feel that they’re going to get the correct opportunity to be part of the future success for the club." 

As well as Roberts, Cook currently has Matt Gill on his first-team coaching staff, while Kieron Dyer has stepped up from his role as Under 23s boss to play an important role in the first-team.  

Noel Hunt, a former player under Portsmouth and Wigan, was in the stands at Northampton and could potentially be an option for Cook. The pair spoke prior to kick-off.

Cook has also allowed goalkeeping coach Jimmy Walker to leave the club. 

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