(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
Wigan have appointed ex-player and former Portsmouth boss Paul Cook as the club’s new manager.
The 50-year-old Liverpudlian arrives at the DW Stadium with assistant Leam Richardson having signed a two-year deal with the Latics, following a fabulous season in League Two on the south coast.
After missing out on promotion after play-off heartbreak in 2016, this year Cook’s Pompey won the League Two title in amazing fashion after they pipped Doncaster and Plymouth on the final day of the season to be crowned champions.
His departure comes as somewhat of a shock, but amid uncertainty at Fratton Park as Michael Eisner completes his takeover at the club, Wigan have stepped in to poach last season’s League Two Manager of the Year.
Cook told the club’s official website: “Wigan was my first club back in the day when Harry McNally had us all and it’s been great to see the club go on to the achievements it’s had in the past few years and that’s great credit to the managers and the chairman.
“The club’s come a long, long way from those days and hopefully my job now will be to try and take us back up the pyramid.”
One of the reasons Wigan Chairman David Sharpe was keen to bring Cook to the club was because of the way he likes to play football, and his footballing philosophy.
“The summer recruitment now is important; the Chairman is very positive about keeping hold of our players and whether we recruit one or two more and again the Chairman is very positive about that.”
“My philosophy goes before me; when I started at Accrington Stanley in England and then at Chesterfield and then Portsmouth.
“Hopefully I can bring that style of play here now; I want to attack, pass the ball well, go forwards quickly and excite our own fans.”
Cook, a midfielder during his playing days, joined Wigan in 1984 and made his debut as a sprightly 17-year-old before eventually beginning a career in management that started with Southport in 2006, followed by a move to Ireland in 2007 with Sligo Rovers.
There, Cook enjoyed formidable success as Rovers enjoyed two FAI Cup wins, a League Cup victory and two forays into the UEFA Cup.
His first job in the EFL was to replace John Coleman at Accrington Stanley in 2012, before guiding Chesterfield to the League Two title in 2013, and to the brink of the Championship the next season before Preston denied them in the play-offs.