Everything said in revealing Paul Cook interview on breakdown of Sheffield Wednesday talks

Sheffield Wednesday supporters pining for the appointment of former Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook as Owls manager have been disappointed by an interview in which he revealed talks with the club have fallen flat.
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The 53-year-old, who has been popular choice among Wednesdayites during their last two searches for a new boss, spoke candidly to national radio station Talksport 2 last night about his place in the running and what he is looking for in any potential new role.

He confirmed reports from The Star columnist Alan Biggs that he had received contact from the Owls over the role, despite having not having directly applied for the job on this occasion.

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Wednesday are on the search for their third full-time manager of the season after the shock sacking of Tony Pulis after only 45 days late last month.

Former Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook revealed that talks with Sheffield Wednesday over their vacant manager's job have fallen flat.Former Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook revealed that talks with Sheffield Wednesday over their vacant manager's job have fallen flat.
Former Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook revealed that talks with Sheffield Wednesday over their vacant manager's job have fallen flat.

Cook, who has also had success with Irish side Sligo Rovers as well as Accrington Stanley, Chesterfield and Portsmouth, was a guest on the station’s two-hour EFL Show and discussed a wide range of topics including the permanent appointment of Wayne Rooney as Derby County manager and football’s ongoing fight to complete the season despite the increasing impact of Covid-19.

Yesterday unconfirmed reports from Serbia suggested former Watford boss Vladimir Ivic had been offered the role.

Below is a full transcript of everything Cook said on his search for a new job, how he would find the role of head coach at a football club uncomfortable and what level of contact he has had with Sheffield Wednesday.

How difficult is it for an out-of-work football manager in the current climate?

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I think for all managers that are out of work, it can be very, very difficult. You listen to people and they say ‘the phone doesn’t ring’.

Nowadays in the modern world of football, a manager’s job becomes available and you there are always a lot of applicants and you’ll deem that you have a chance or you haven’t got a chance. That can be tough on a lot of managers themselves but on the families as well. I think sometimes we forget that.

For myself, I can only talk from a personal point of view, I was ready to go to work the day after I left.

Given the situation, have you re-set the standards and criteria you would normally have?

I’ve got be careful, for managers when you’re out of work there are so many angles with social media and outlets for sport and news.

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From a personal point of view, football has changed so much for a manager. There’s a new term called a ‘head coach’, isn’t there? And somewhere along the line in football, the manager has evolved into the head coach and the head coach is not the manager.

Well I’m a little bit old fashioned in that I think the manager is the manager and the head coach is the manager, that’s where I sit.

I see clubs nowadays and I feel the way forward is most definitely having a sporting director involved, recruitment rooms. A manager needs help, he really does.

But one thing that really does disappoint me, we only see managers sacked. You never, ever see anybody else within a football club sacked, do you?

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So from my point of view I want to go back in and I’ve been lucky at my football clubs. Especially at Chesterfield where I had Chris Turner, my CEO, we had a fantastic relationship. I went down to Portsmouth with Leam Richardson we had Mark Catlin and Tony Brown, again a fantastic relationship.

I went up to Wigan with David Sharpe who was the chairman, sporting director, everything. And again I had a fantastic relationship. My latter stages at Wigan Athletic were with Darren Royle the executive chairman and with Joe Royle, the sporting director and again, a fantastic relationship.

I think those relationships at football clubs are absolutely paramount. It’s a huge thing for football managers going forward.

*Interview goes into the safety of footballers in safety of footballers and the continuation of the season...*

(Cont..) What can you say to the Sheffield Wednesday fans that want you in the job at Hillsborough?

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First and foremost, as a manager and a person looking for a job, through social media I am absolutely overwhelmed with the support I’ve been receiving from Sheffield Wednesday fans in general, from the support there that have wanted me to go into the club and have thought I am the right person, that’s fantastic.

If I can be as honest as I can be with anyone, Sheffield Wednesday supporters, I applied for the job first time around when Tony Pulis took the job and I wasn’t considered, I never got a phone call. That’s football.

The second time around I deemed that if I didn’t get a phone call first time, I didn’t see the point in applying second time.

From there, I have had contact with Sheffield Wednesday, we have spoken. As we speak now those talks aren’t really ongoing.

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So that’s where the situation stands. I wish Sheffield Wednesday going forward, whether it’s Paul Cook or any manager, the best of luck because it’s a fantastic club with fantastic support.

It’s a fantastic opportunity, if afforded your way?

It’s a fantastic opportunity for anyone, but people have to realise now, we were touching before about modern day football, if you want to manage one of these good clubs you have to be allowed to manage. If you’re not going to be allowed to manage, then you’re an employee and not a manager.

I certainly wish Sheffield Wednesday absolutely every success in whichever direction they decide to go.



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