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Wigan’s Leam Richardson delivers honest verdict on Paul Cook’s Ipswich departure

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For a number of years, Leam Richardson and Paul Cook could not be separated as a coaching unit – until last year.

A long-serving defender for Accrington Stanley, Richardson played under Cook when he was appointed at the Wham Stadium in 2012 and then took over from him when he departed for Chesterfield later that year.

Cook would soon bring Richardson to Chesterfield as his assistant though and they moved on together to both Portsmouth and Wigan Athletic, winning promotions with both outfits.

Quiz: Has James Norwood ever scored a goal for Ipswich Town at each of these 26 stadiums?

1 of 26

Portman Road?

However when Cook left the Latics in August last year due to their battle with administration, Richardson remained as John Sheridan’s assistant before later becoming manager.

Ipswich Town would appoint Cook as their manager in March of this year but after nine months in charge and no Richardson by his side, the 54-year-old has faltered and been sacked by the Suffolk outfit.

Richardson meanwhile is thriving at the DW Stadium as in his first full season as manager as he has Wigan sitting in second position in League One, but he’s found the time to express his sadness over his former mentor being given the axe by the Tractor Boys.

“I’m surprised, absolutely devastated and gutted for him individually because nobody needs to tell Ipswich fans or anyone else in football the calibre of management on his CV,” Richardson said, per the EADT.

“For me he’s a Premier League/Championship manager so it’s surprising.

“People look to get out of the division and in that situation they probably look for Paul Cook and the likes of him.

“He’ll be fine – he’s very experienced, very robust, very thorough and very thoughtful.

“I’m sure he’ll already be looking for his next challenge, knowing him, and I wish him well.”

The Verdict

A large part of Richardson’s career has been working under Cook so it’s natural for him to feel sadness over how it’s panned out.

Cook’s struggles at Portman Road have led to some theories that he only works well with Richardson by his side and the fact he couldn’t bring him to Ipswich was his downfall.

That is just merely speculation but Richardson seems to have learnt a lot off Cook as he’s doing very well with Wigan in his second managerial job.

You can never say never to the pair reuniting one day but Richardson is forging his own path in management now – he’s got a way to go though to eclipse what Cook has done with his multiple promotions.


25 years old, UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, Preston North End fan

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Wigan’s Leam Richardson delivers honest verdict on Paul Cook’s Ipswich departure

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