"He's not a bad person.." Paul Cook opens up on relationship with Sheffield Wednesday striker Josh Windass
The man many Sheffield Wednesday supporters want to see appointed as the club’s next manager has offered some clarity on his much-talked-about relationship with their star striker.
Paul Cook sold Josh Windass to Wednesday last year after reports of a bust-up towards the end of their time at Wigan Athletic and it has been suggested that any issues between the two may stand between Cook and the Hillsborough role.
But the 53-year-old, who bought Windass from Glasgow Rangers in 2018 for £2.5m, has played down any notion that his relationship with the forward is beyond repair.
“With Josh, again there’s two sides to every story, which is always important,” Cook told The Full-Time Whittle podcast.
“I think, especially when we weren’t doing so well, Josh probably struggled with the fact that he felt he moved from Rangers to Wigan Athletic, which was valid. There was never a big, massive fallout where people think two people have had this clash where there is no going back from.
“I think over a period of time, it just become beneficial for the team, and for Josh, that he moved on.”
Cook, who admitted talks with Wednesday had fallen flat earlier this month, reportedly spoke to Cardiff City about their manager’s job before the appointment of Mick McCarthy earlier this week. He remains the popular choice to fill the Owls vacancy left by Tony Pulis almost a month ago.
Cook made clear his admiration for Windass’ talent and explained that he felt their relationship was not irretrievable.
He said: “Josh Windass, without a shadow of a doubt, has got all the qualities to be a Premier League footballer. So when people built this up, I was always searching for a formula that made Wigan Athletic win.
“And unfortunately for some lads along the way there was always going to be a bit of collateral damage. There was never the fallout people said, there was never a situation where the relationship was irretrievable, even today I wish Josh Windass every success in his career.
“Josh Windass is not a bad person, he’s not a bad lad. He’s the opposite. He actually loves his football, but there came a point where it was beneficial for both parties to go their separate ways.”