'I turned down jobs... Ipswich ticks every single box' - Cook on why he took the Ipswich role
- Credit: ITFC
Paul Cook has confirmed he turned down job offers before joining Ipswich Town and insists the Blues ‘tick every box’ when it comes to his managerial checklist.
The 54-year-old has been out of work since leaving Wigan last summer but was said to be a leading contender for almost every Championship vacancy since, most-notably, Sheffield Wednesday, and Cardiff.
Reports suggested he has turned down short-term deals at both clubs, with the new Town boss craving an opportunity to build something in his next role following success in each of his last three positions.
“As a manager, one of the things you appreciate when you’re out of work is how many managers there are looking for jobs,” Cook said.
“I did turn down jobs for whatever reason and whatever division, purely because I had my mind set on something I wanted to do.
“At the time I wanted to stay in the Championship, I really did, and that’s something I was capable of.
“But the Ipswich job coming around and then speaking to Marcus (Evans), it’s clear and obvious Ipswich don’t want to be in League One and I don’t particularly want to be in League One either. We have a great opportunity to help each other now.
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“The club ticks every single box,” he added.
Asked again about opportunities to take other jobs earlier in the season, Cook said.
“Sometimes as a manager it’s hard because one of the things you have to accept, which is tough for me, is that there are so many managers going into jobs until the end of the season.
“You have to look at what’s going on in the world to appreciate that because it’s been a really tough time for everyone. Sometimes I maybe had to look back and think ‘maybe I’m looking for something that doesn’t exist’ and everyone’s had to have a reality check.
“When the Ipswich opportunity came around, speaking to the owner was something I absolutely craved to do. Speaking to him it was clear his passion for Ipswich Town was very, very strong and that aligns with me wanting to certainly get back to the Championship as quickly as we can.”
Cook won the League One title with Wigan in 2019, kept them in the second tier the following season and turned them into the Championship’s in-form team before serious off-field issues resulted in administration, a points deduction, relegation and then Cook’s resignation.
“I can’t thank Wigan Athletic enough for what they’ve done for me,” Cook said.
“What went on there was so wrong but that’s football. It’s so sad to see them in the position they’re in but it’s great to see Leam (Richardson, Cook’s former assistant and now caretaker at Wigan) putting together a team there that’s given them a fighting chance of staying in the league (the Latics are bottom of League One but just two points from safety).
“I wish them the very best of luck for the rest of the season. I will only every speak about the club in the greatest esteem. There are so many good people up there who lost jobs and what happened isn’t correct.”
Cook’s resignation came at the end of July, with the new Town boss itching to get back into the game ever since.
“It’s been horrendous, absolutely horrendous,” he said.
“My poor missus Joanne is absolutely in bits. She wanted me out ages ago. It was difficult for me because the circumstances of me being out of work were different.
“I’m not good at home. You can’t go and watch football, you can’t go and watch your team play and you’re out of work. It’s all about Sky Sports. We’ve all sat at home and your missus then says ‘surely there’s not another game on today’. Super Sunday has become Super Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Football has given people something to help them keep going and stay strong.
“You can only imagine what I was like.”