'It's no secret he did want me down there... but I wish him well' - Richardson on Town boss Cook
- Credit: PA
Wigan boss Leam Richardson has confirmed he turned down a reunion with Paul Cook in order to take the Latics job full-time.
Richardson was confirmed as the club’s new boss on a three-year deal yesterday, having impressed as caretaker during a turbulent campaign in which he has had to deal with the fallout from administration, relegation, Cook’s departure and the dismantling of a playing squad which the pair had built over a number of years.
It had been widely expected Richardson would follow Cook to Portman Road this summer, reuniting two men who have won league titles at Wigan, Portsmouth and Chesterfield together.
That will not happen now, though, with Richardson keen to thank his former boss for all his support, both during their time together and since going their separate ways.
"It's no secret he did want me to go down there and work with him again - and I can't thank him enough for that,” Richardson told Wigan Today: “I wish him well for the future, and I do consider him one of the top managers in England.
"I know it hurt Paul a lot leaving Wigan, and I've probably spoken to him every single day since.
"He's been very supportive of me in certain situations, even including him moving on with his own career.
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"There was always going to be speculation (about my future), and it really is quite humbling to be wanted in such a tough industry.
"I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with Paul, and I've learned so many things about myself - on and off the pitch - that I'll take with me."
Discussing his full-time role with Wigan further, Richardson said: "I think it's the same with anything, you set out with a plan, and it rarely ends up following that plan,” he said.
"I've been really fortunate in my career, in having a sound grounding under the likes of Roy Hodgson, Sam Allardyce, even and John Coleman at Accrington.
"I've also had a fantastic basis - and I can't stress this enough - in management, and working alongside Paul Cook.
"That's allowed me to be as prepared as I can be, although I still have a lot to learn and a lot to achieve, to the levels I want to get to.
"And I firmly believe Wigan Athletic can match that while I'm the manager.
"I genuinely am not a status-driven person, or a financially-driven person.
"I just love what I do, and all I want to do is represent my family and the football club as well as I can.”
Cook is now on the lookout for a new No.2, with John McGreal and Noel Hunt in the frame to join the former Wigan boss’s staff.