'There's a lot of interest' - O'Neill on manager search and Cook links

Paul Cook is the overwhelming favourite to replace Paul Lambert as Ipswich Town manager

Paul Cook is the overwhelming favourite to replace Paul Lambert as Ipswich Town manager - Credit: PA/PAGEPIX

There has been significant interest in the Ipswich Town vacancy following Paul Lambert’s departure, with former Wigan boss Paul Cook the overwhelming favourite to replace him. 

Lambert was sacked on Sunday night, with Matt Gill and Bryan Klug in temporary charge for tomorrow’s trip to Accrington Stanley.  

That’s likely to be their only game as caretakers, with a full-time appointment likely before Saturday’s visit to Gillingham. 

Town are understood to be closing in on the appointment of Cook, though general manager Lee O’Neill his insisted there has been widespread interest in the job. 

It’s understood Danny Cowley and Neil Harris are among the managers who have held real interest in the position of late.   

“That’s with Marcus and he will be doing his due diligence around the people out there and what’s available,” O'Neill said of the manager search. 

“He will go through his thoughts, speak to people and take the necessary time to look at who he wants to manage the football club. We’ll work within that structure. 

“I think he’s speaking to a number of people. That’s with Marcus at the moment and we hope that process happens quickly so we can get that person in place and move forward. He’ll take as long as he needs to. 

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“My phone has gone off a lot and there are lots of people who are interested in managing Ipswich Town Football Club. It’s a great club, a big club and there’s a lot of interest in the role. 

“It’s very important we get the right man. The situation we are in is one we need to get ourselves out of and get back to the Championship as soon as possible. The longer we are here, the harder it is for everybody. 

“The feeling within the football club is that it’s an opportunity to show what they can do under new management. 

“Hopefully it’s enough to get us going in the right direction. You can’t rule anything out in this lead. 

Asked specifically if the Blues are close to appointing Paul Cook, O’Neill said: “I don’t have the answer to that question, that’s with Marcus Evans. We’ll have to wait and see. 

“I personally don’t know Paul Cook but if you look at his record he’s done very well, as have a number of people who are available. That situation is with Marcus Evans and I’m sure he’ll speak to all the people he needs to in relation to who the manager is going to be. 

“Paul Cook’s name has been mentioned but there are lot of managers out of work at the moment and a lot of others in work doing very, very well. So that’s with Marcus Evans. 

“If Paul Cook were to be that person he has promotions on his CV. I don’t know him personally so I can’t comment on him individually. He has done a good job at the clubs he’s been at. 

“It’s a big club here so it needs to be someone who can come in and take the club forward from where it is now.” 

Is it a job for an experienced manager, rather than someone starting out? 

“There’s a lot of expectation and we need someone who knows what they’re doing. But you can never rule out somebody with fresh, new ideas.  

“That’s with Marcus Evans and I’m sure he will appoint the right person.” 

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