Paul Cook's takeover worry and why he cancelled today's pre-match press conference
- Credit: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook was relieved to discover that the club's new owners had a role in selecting him for the job.
When joining the Blues last month, Cook said that one of the biggest attractions had been the chance to have a close working relationship with long-term owner Marcus Evans.
Reports that Cook had been chosen by a US group closing in on a takeover had surfaced days earlier, but it's understood that Evans had told the new Blues boss that he was looking at bringing in further investment rather than selling the club outright.
That takeover did happen though, leaving Cook unsure of his situation when first meeting the club's new chairman, Mike O'Leary, on Wednesday.
"I could see the look in his eye when I walked in the room," said O'Leary. "He was thinking ‘crikey, new owners, does that mean I need a new job?’
"But as soon as he discovered he was also number one on our list when we were thinking about finding a new manager when we did buy this club he relaxed and he was very positive."
Explaining the process behind Cook replacing Paul Lambert in the hot-seat further, O'Leary said: "We talked to Marcus about it, he wanted to make a change, we compared notes and Mr Cook was No.1 on both of our lists.
"Often, a change of owner results in another change of manager. That will not be the situation here because we rate Paul very highly."
Cook has today opted not to carry out his usual pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow's home clash with MK Dons, respectfully explaining he wants to fully focus on getting his and the players' heads around the week's big news and best prepare them for an important match. He will discuss the takeover after tomorrow's game.
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The Blues are three points adrift of the League One play-off places with eight games of the season to go.
Upon taking the Ipswich job at the start of March, Cook said: “Do you know what, while I was Wigan manager I didn’t even know who the owners were. I never, ever spoke to them. I never saw any danger signs coming (of the club going into administration).
“On speaking to Marcus Evans it was quite clear that his passion for Ipswich Town was very, very, very strong and he’s desperate to take it back to where we all want it to go."
He added: "The club, Marcus, Lee O’Neill, that was the attraction because of the relationship those people have had with their managers. That’s massive to me.
"Marcus’s relationship with previous managers (is important). Mick McCarthy, when I spoke to him, the relationship he had shone through. It’s very important for a manager to know he has an owner’s faith.”