Former Bristol City winger Jamal Campbell-Ryce has claimed that the Robins should ‘definitely’ be looking at Paul Cook as a permanent replacement for Dean Holden, speaking exclusively to Football League World.
The Bs3 club are searching for a new manager for the second time in less than a year after Holden was relieved of his duties on Tuesday evening on the back of a run of six consecutive defeats.
Cook, who has been out of a job since leaving Wigan in the summer, has been linked as an early potential candidate alongside MK Dons’ Russell Martin and Lincoln City’s Michael Appleton.
The former Latics boss has had success everywhere he’s been in the EFL, winning promotion with Wigan, Chesterfield, and Portsmouth, as well as keeping the latter in the Championship in 2018/19.
Speaking exclusively to Football League World, Campbell-Ryce has heaped praise on the 53-year-old coach and urged his former club to consider him.
He said: “His CV is phenomenal. The teams that he has got promoted, the way he plays football, and the way he recruits – I am a huge fan of his. The way he’s extremely animated on the touchline, gets his players going, and knows how to get the best out of them.
“He’s a fantastic manager. A great guy as well and knows his stuff. He’s definitely one for them to look at, I think he’s a really bright coach.”
Campbell-Ryce added that Cook’s ability to galvanise a dressing room could make him an ideal fit at Ashton Gate.
He explained: “I always said it as a player and now as a coach, I say it even more: your players feed off the manager and the coaches, so you need to be as animated as possible. Players need to know where they stand, they need to be encouraged and given confidence.
“I’m not saying that Dean Holden didn’t do that but sometimes players do need a different voice and when there are bad results, ultimately it always falls on the manager which is unfortunate but that is the game.
“Paul Cook, I know is someone that demands a lot from his players and he always seems to get the best out of them. He’s got a knack for it. It’s absolutely fantastic. He’s a manager that I always enjoy watching and listening to, just because there are no grey areas. His players know what they have to do and they deliver it.
“I’m surprised that he’s not in work now but I’m sure that if it’s not Bristol City, he’ll be in somewhere else really soon.”
It is understood that City did not have anyone lined up ahead of Holden’s sacking, meaning as it did in the summer, the search for a new manager may take some time.
In the interim, Holden’s assistant coaches Paul Simpson and Keith Downing will take charge of training and, most likely, matches.