Chesterfield: Keith Hill a favourite for fans as Cook prepares Spireites exit

Paul Cook
Paul Cook
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Speculation is rife as to who will replace Paul Cook as Spireites manager.

While Portsmouth are yet to formally unveil the 48-year-old as their new manager and Paul Cook has yet to hand in his notice in at The Proact Stadium, it still seems likely that the man who led Chesterfield to the club’s highest league position in 24 years will be departing to the South Coast, with his assistant, Leam Richardson, and also moving on.

Spireites remain hopeful they can still persuade the manager to stay, though he’d have to operate with the same budget as this season with the opportunity to bring in new faces only being possible if players move on.

The odds-makers have already started opening books on who will be Chesterfield’s next permanent manager and supporters are debating the positive and negative sides of many of the names mentioned.

Should the vacancy come up, Keith Hill would be a popular choice for many supporters, having led Rochdale to an all-time high position on a shoestring budget while playing decent football.

Leeds United boss Neil Redfearn, contracted until next month, but free to move on, was at Spireites’ first-leg play-off match with Preston North End and he’s believed to be interested in the post.

Also being mentioned is Dean Saunders, who’s been interim manager of Crawley Town for the second half of the season but he failed to keep them in League One. The ex-Doncaster boss would not be a name that enthralls the majority of Proact Stadium regulars.

Walsall’s ex-Owls defender, Dean Smith, is another potential target. Like Hill, he’s seen his side play decent football on a tight budget.

Left-field suggestions include Paul Scholes, Phil Neville and former Blades striker Brian Deane, all inexperienced and high risks, but so was Cook when he was appointed after a relatively short spell at Accrington Stanley.

Chesterfield-based Danny Wilson is 2-1 favourite at Bet Victor, but he’s always indicated he wouldn’t want to manage the team where he lives and he’s unlikely to be a serious contender.

Other names on Bet Victor’s book include Paul Ince (12-1) and Phil Brown (20-1). Billy Davies is at 33-1 along with Micky Adams, Nicky Barmby and Ronnie Moore.

Sky Bet has Leam Richardson as favourite, with Saunders and Deane both at 5-1 and Darren Ferguson at 6-1.