Bristol City find themselves searching for a new manager for the second time in less than a year and once again, Paul Cook is a name that has been mentioned.
The Robins sacked head coach Dean Holden after the defeat to Reading on Tuesday evening, their sixth on the bounce, and Cook, Lincoln City’s Michael Appleton, and MK Dons’ Russell Martin have all been linked already.
The former has been out of a job since leaving Wigan in the summer and seems to be the man that large parts of the Ashton Gate faithful would like to see take charge. But what would that mean for the club?
We’ve outlined the potential impacts on City if they appoint the 53-year-old as Holden’s permanent replacement…
The dressing room would be galvanised
One of Cook’s strengths is his ability to inspire and enthuse a dressing room, often getting players to play at their best when times are tough – as the Latic’s late-season run in 2019/20 illustrated.
The performances we’ve seen from City in the past week would indicate that is exactly what this squad needs.
They were embarrassed by Watford on the weekend but rather than bouncing back with a response against Reading, produced a dismal and flat display with their heads dropping after the first goal went in.
One thing you’d expect to see if Cook took charge is the atmosphere in the squad change, matching his energy and intensity on the touchline.
A formation change
Under Holden, City usually played in either a 3-5-2 or a 4-3-3 formation but that would likely change should the ex-Wigan boss arrive at Ashton Gate.
Throughout his career, Cook has favoured a 4-2-3-1 system and it would be no surprise to see him shift the Robins into that setup.
One potential issue would be a lack of experience the wide roles of the attacking 3 with only Antoine Semenyo and Owura Edwards available to play those positions at the moment but Jamie Paterson, Kasey Palmer, and, when he returns, Callum O’Dowda could be other options.
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Joe Williams gets back to his best
The Ashton Gate faithful are yet to see the best of their summer signing but Cook should know exactly how to get him playing at top gear.
City signed Williams from Wigan after the 53-year-old’s summer exit and on the back of the form he’d shown under him in the 2019/20 campaign.
Cook signed the 24-year-old from Everton and helped him produce the best season of his career at the DW Stadium last term.
Injuries have hampered Williams’ start to life in Bs3 but the arrival of Cook could be the perfect way to help the midfielder kick-start his Robins career.