We take a look at the managerial career of Paul Cook.
Cook was a professional footballer from the years of 1984 until 2006. He plied his trade as a midfielder with such English clubs as Wigan Athletic, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burnley and finished up his playing career at Accrington Stanley. Overall, Cook made 642 appearances during his playing career. After his retirement, the Liverpudlian decided to make the move into management. His first managerial position was an unsuccessful 7 month spell at conference side Southport.
Sligo Rovers (2007-2012)
After failing to make an impression at Southport, Cook decided to follow in the footsteps of fellow Englishmen Sam Allardyce and Steve Cotterill by crossing the Irish Sea. He was appointed manager of League of Ireland side Sligo Rovers on the 27th of April 2007. In his first two seasons at the Showgrounds, he finished in the top 6 on both occasions. In late 2009 he guided the West of Ireland side to the FAI cup final. Unfortunately for Cook and his side they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Sporting Fingal. The Liverpudlian challenged the team to build on their cup final loss and in less than a year Sligo won their first piece of silverware in the shape of the league cup. Later that year, Sligo reached the FAI cup final. Rovers went on to defeat Shamrock Rovers in a thrilling penalty shoot-out at the Aviva stadium. The following season he led Sligo Rovers to another FAI cup final win this time against North Dublin side Shelbourne. After having a successful spell in the West of Ireland Cook went back to England to manage one of his old sides Accrington Stanley.
Accrington Stanley (2012-2012)
In early 2012 Cook confirmed he was the new manager of the Lancashire side. He was appointed alongside then care-taker manager Leam Richardson. Having had a mixed start to his time at Accrington he led the club to a mid-table finish that season. In October of the following season he was appointed as manager of Derbyshire outfit and League two rivals Chesterfield.
Chesterfield FC (2012-2015)
Paul Cook was confirmed as Chesterfield manager on the 25th of October 2012. In his first season at the Proact Stadium he guided the Spireites to a top half finish narrowly missing out on a play-off position. At the start of the 2013/2014 season Cook appointed Leam Richardson as his assistant with the club, having previously worked with Richardson at Accrington Stanley before taking over at Chesterfield. Cook also brought Hibernian striker Eoin Doyle to the club who he had previously worked with at Sligo Rovers. It was a clever move by Cook as Chesterfield where crowned champions and secured promotion to league 1 that season. He also led Chesterfield to the football league trophy final that year but lost out to Darren Ferguson’s Peterborough United. The 2014/2015 season for Chesterfield started off very well for Cook and his men. However in January the club had a setback as they lost star striker Eoin Doyle to Championship outfit Cardiff City. Despite this loss Paul inspired Chesterfield to finish the season in a play-off position. Unfortunately for the club they lost in both legs to eventual promotion winners Preston North End. On the 12th of May Chesterfield confirmed that Paul Cook would be leaving the club to take over at south coast side Portsmouth FC.
Portsmouth FC (2015-Present)
Since arriving at Fratton Park, the Liverpudlian has already left his mark on the club by releasing 9 players including the experienced defender and one time England hopeful Nicky Shorey. Following his success at the Showgrounds and the Proact Stadium can Cook lead the 2007/2008 FA cup champions back to where they belong in the top-flight of English football?Only time will tell.