Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook is set to quit after having an interview for another job within the Championship, it’s been revealed.
Football Insider understands that he is set to leave his role at the Latics in the next 24 hours, with the club in administration.
Cook’s departure comes despite the 53-year-old having two years left on his contract at the newly relegated side.
— Bristol City Live (@bristolcitylive) July 28, 2020
He arrived at the DW Stadium having left Portsmouth back in 2017 after the Latics were relegated from the Championship to League One.
He took the club back to the second-tier as league champions at the first attempt and pulled off an impressive FA Cup run which included the victories of Premier League sides Bournemouth, West Ham and Manchester City.
Wigan finished 18th in their first season back in the Championship, 12 points clear of the relegation zone, and they had finished mid-table when the 2019/20 season was cancelled.
However, at the beginning of July, the club said they entered administration and were subsequently given a 12-point deduction by the English Football League, which was implemented at the end of the season, seeing them drop from 13th to finish 23rd.
Cook is on Bristol City’s shortlist to become the club’s next head coach having undertaken an interview with the club, Bristol Live understands.
— Birmingham City News (@BCFC_News) July 23, 2020
Another manager in contention is ex-Brighton manager Chris Hughton, a man the club are actively considering having begun the interview process last week.
Bristol Live reported last Friday that the club have interviewed up to eight candidates in what has been a long process lasting nearly a month.
Time was called on Lee Johnson’s four year stay at Ashton Gate following a dismal run of results coming as a blow to their chances of reaching the Championship playoffs.
It came just hours after the Robins suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Neil Harris’ Cardiff City on the 4th of July, making it nine games without a win for the club.
City Chief Executive Mark Ashton said: “We recognise the huge amount of work that Lee has put in over the last four-and-a-half years to move this club forward and we thank him for all his efforts. There have been some special moments over those years and Lee has played a significant part in them.
“However, success in football is ultimately judged by results and league position and the Board believes that a change of management is needed now for Bristol City.”
He has been out of work for 14 months having been sacked by Brighton & Hove Albion after just about managing to keep them up last season.
He was most recently the favourite for the vacancy at Birmingham City, who are still yet to appoint a new manager with Pep Clotet stepping down at the end of the season.
Hughton had his contract terminated by the Seagulls – the team he won came Championship runners up with in 2017 despite avoiding the drop from the Premier League.
However he won just three of their last 23 league games and none of their final nine.
He has also managed Norwich City, Birmingham City and Newcastle United (won the Championship with in 2010).
In October 2019, Hughton turned down replacing Nathan Jones as manager Stoke City.
He also said: “I do want to get back in at the highest level that I can but I’m using my time out well and very much making the most of it.
“I’m in the fortunate position, I’m not a first time manager or second time manager that is worried about where the next job is coming from and it’s a very precarious profession that we’re in.
“So, I’m all through all of that. I supposed I would be seen as a more experienced manager now, so I think that takes a little bit of pressure off.”
He seemed adamant that he was good enough to manage a club in the Premier League again, however, now a change of heart sees Hughton wanting to take up the perfect challenge in guiding Bristol City to promotion.
Who are the other favourites for the job?
The club made an ambitious attempt to bring in Rangers boss Steven Gerrard, but he remained intent to stay at the Scottish Premiership outfit.
Plymouth Argyle boss Ryan Lowe is the second favourite for the job along with Preston’s Alex Neil at 4/1 (according to betvictor), despite the Pilgrims boss stating his intention to stay at the newly promoted club, who will be in League One next season, and it would be a surprise to see him swap with a team who finished below his side.
John Terry is 8/1, however Dean Smith refuted for a second time any suggestion that his assistant head coach could be joining Bristol City.
Smith reiterated what he said two weeks ago that Terry is staying at Villa Park and is not interested in succeeding Lee Johnson for his first managerial role.
“I answered it a couple of weeks ago,” said Smith, as reported by Birmingham Live.
“I spoke to JT about the Bristol City link and he said no.
“He’s fully-focused on the job here.
“We have a really good working relationship and a good relationship away from work as well.
“We really enjoy working together.”
Fans reacted as they discover that the Wigan manager is set to quit after having an interview for another job…
If they wanted Hughton it would of been done by now
— neil pearce (@npearce24) July 28, 2020
Standard negativity from everyone because it’s Hughton (🙄) but this would be an excellent appointment and would look to fit profile were after perfectly.
— Chris Cooper (@ChrisJCooper92) July 28, 2020
Would he fuck! 🥰
My no2 choice behind Hughton, Trig!!!
Very good eye for a player too.
— Fevs (@Davefevs) July 28, 2020
Time this football showed ambition with a top manager / coach . I admire the land down family for making us a possible contender for the big time , it’s now for a big name who has the right background with promotions
— Keynsham-BCFC (@BcfcKeynsham) July 28, 2020
Paul Cook’s last seven seasons in management:
13/14: 1st (L2)
14/15: 6th (L1)
15/16: 6th (L2)
16/17: 1st (L2)
17/18: 1st (L1)
18/19: 18th (C’ship)
19/20: 23rd (C’ship)*
*13th without the points deduction
— James (@jbcfc__) July 28, 2020
If Paul cook wasn’t fat, bald, English and called Paul cook you’d love his football btw
— Pezza (@BcfcPezza) July 28, 2020
Some fans turning their noses up at Paul Cook getting an interview?
— James (@jbcfc__) July 28, 2020
As Paul Cook leaves Wigan Athletic I just wanted to say he could of done no more and thanks.
It reminds me of when Paul Jewell stood down.
I just hope we have a club to start next season, and when we do we get someone who loves the club to take over.
Up The Tics 👊🔵⚪️🟢
— Liam O’Connor (@wiganontour) July 28, 2020