'I came here to enjoy management again' - Cook on taking Chesterfield job

Ex Ipswich Town boss Paul Cook is now in charge of promotion chasing National League side Chesterfield Town.

Ex-Ipswich Town boss Paul Cook is now in charge of promotion chasing National League side Chesterfield Town. - Credit: Chesterfield Town FC

Ex-Ipswich Town boss Paul Cook says he has dropped into non-league with Chesterfield to start enjoying management again.

Having won league titles at Chesterfield (L2), Portsmouth (L2) and Wigan (L1), Cook looked to be a manager on the up when appointed by Ipswich Town in March last year. He was sacked nine months later after winning just 13 of his 44 games in charge, completely changing the squad along the way.


Chesterfield currently sit second in the National League, their Ipswich-born boss James Rowe having left my 'mutual consent' earlier this month following allegations of misconduct.

"The club is in a great place - the Trust is running it really well and the team is doing fantastically well," said Cook. "A manager doesn't normally get a job in these circumstances.

"I wouldn't have dropped out the (Football) League for any other team than Chesterfield Football Club. That's no disrespect to any other team in the Conference, but Chesterfield were the club that gave me my big opportunity when I was coming through at Accrington.

"So when the opportunity to come back here came around I was sitting at home thinking 'why not go back and try and help them?'

"I managed some really good clubs since my first time here, but latterly I haven't enjoyed managing football and that's been a big disappointment for me. This is the perfect opportunity now for me, at a strong position in my career - a lot more experienced, a lot wiser, a lot less hot-headed - to give something back to this club."

Town manager Paul Cook with his head down as he walks from the pitch.

Paul Cook was manager of Ipswich Town for just nine months. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

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The Liverpudlian continued: "The last two years have been difficult for me if I'm being truthful. Eighteen months ago Wigan went into administration, I join Ipswich Town Football Club to work under Marcus Evans and then Marcus left about six weeks later. Then to start a league campaign and only be given 20 games I find very disappointing to say the least, but that's football.

"My father, who has been a massive influence in my life, passed away in November, so it's been really tough.

"I discussed it with my family, weighting up the pitfalls of coming back here against what it would be like if we could be successful and hopefully go up and restore the club to where I left it. I'm just delighted to be back in football.

Chesterfield caretaker boss Danny Webb has stayed on as part of Cook's staff. The Spireites are at Weymouth tomorrow and then have five successive home games.

On his side's promotion push, Cook said: "There is Boreham Wood, Bromley, Halifax, as well as Notts County, Stockport, Wrexham and us. So there are six or seven clubs that will all be thinking 'we're going to be one of the two that go up'. Boreham Wood are probably in the best position because, with their games in hand, they are the only team who have destiny in their own hands."

Chesterfield's success this season has been achieved with playing three at the back.

Asked for his message to the fans, Cook quipped: "4-2-3-1! No, there'll be no big changes. We've got a ship that's steering itself very, very well at the minute, so I want my introduction to be as quiet and as calm as possible. Danny's doing an amazing job with the players. My first real week will be next week."