Ipswich Town appoint Paul Cook as manager
- Credit: PA
Paul Cook has been confirmed as the new manager of Ipswich Town.
The former Wigan boss replaces Paul Lambert at Portman Road, with the Scot departing on Sunday evening.
Cook has signed a deal until the summer of 2023, with the 54-year-old inheriting a Town side sitting eighth in the League One table.
The Blues take on Accrington Stanley at the Wham Stadium this evening, with Matt Gill and Bryan Klug leading the side and Cook expected to be in attendance.
His first game in charge will be on Saturday when the Blues travel to Gillingham.
Cook brings former Town midfielder Gary Roberts to the club as part of his coaching staff. Town have already indicated they see Gill and goalkeeping coach Jimmy Walker as part of the club's structure going forwards.
The new Town boss's long-time assistant, Leam Richardson, has been in caretaker charge of Wigan so is unlikely to join him in the short-term. But, having assisted Cook at Accrington, Chesterfield, Portsmouth and then the Latics, he could well follow should his situation at the DW Stadium change.
“First I want to wish Paul [Lambert] and Stuart [Taylor] all the best for the future. I know them both and it’s a hard business, football,” Cook said.
“It’s been a quick turnaround with zoom meetings with the owner but Marcus has given me the opportunity to manage what is a great football club and that is a massive honour for me and my family.
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“I’m proud to be in this position and I’ll be doing everything possible to repay the faith Marcus has shown in me.
“Winning promotion this season is the immediate target. It will be a big challenge but it’s a challenge that everyone at the Club has a part to play in.”
Cook arrives with an impressive CV which includes League Two titles with both Chesterfield and Portsmouth, as well as the League One crown with Wigan in 2019.
The Liverpudlian left his former club in the summer having overseen an impressive run in the Championship where his side were the second-tier's in-form side throughout the second half of the campaign. They were relegated, though, thanks to a points-penalty after the club fell into administration.
Town owner Marcus Evans said: “He has a proven track record in getting clubs promoted and importantly, not only knows the challenges League One presents but also has experience of working in the Championship and getting back to that level remains our primary focus.
“He took Wigan up to the Championship in his first year, kept them up and they would have comfortably finished in mid-table last season if it wasn’t for their points deduction.
“In our conversations, he has shown a great desire to become our next manager and I have been impressed by his ideas and ambitions to help take Ipswich Town forwards and I look forward to working with him as we strive firstly to return to the Championship.
“He knows he will be working with a squad of players that is as good as any in this division and I believe Paul will bring the energy, the enthusiasm and the experience that can fully enhance our promotion aspirations.
“As well as having a history - and on-going desire - of developing a winning formula, his teams have played in a style which is totally in line with the Club’s ambitions to develop an Ipswich Town playing ethos.
“I’m sure our supporters will give Paul a great welcome - albeit from afar at the moment - and get right behind him and the players as we enter what promises to be an exciting conclusion to the season.”