Richardson: Pompey fans will give Cook good reception

Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey travel to Wigan tomorrow in League One. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Leam Richardson believes Paul Cook will get a ‘very good reception’ from Pompey fans at Wigan tomorrow.

The former Blues manager and his assistant left Fratton Park for the DW Stadium in controversial circumstances in May, after guiding Pompey to the League Two title.

Cook now prepares to face his former side just under four months after his south-coast departure.

Although a section of the Fratton faithful were not with happy the manner in which he left, his right-hand man, Richardson, believes the Latics boss will be welcomed by Blues fans.

He told Wigan Today: ‘I’m sure he (Cook) will get a very good reception once the dust settles because people will recognise the work he did down there.

‘It became apparent when we won the league there were question marks over whether we would be getting a new deal regarding the takeover.

‘I put my kids into school down there along with the manager.

‘To then get half told you’d be possibly not getting a new contract, possibly were, it wasn’t a great time after leading a club from nearly going out the league to champions.

‘To then get that feeling around the club which wasn’t great.

Kenny Jackett succeeded Cook in the Fratton Park hot seat and has been stamping his authority on his squad.

Richardson expects Pompey to be competitive in League One this season – but feels he and Cook got the wheels in motion.

He added: ‘We’ll both be competing for very similar things this year.

‘We left Portsmouth with a very healthy squad, with a championship-winning squad and a team.

‘Kenny is a very experienced manager and he’ll have a good management team with him, so it will be up to him to pick the bones of what he likes and dislikes with that squad and move forward with it.

‘They are a very, very strong club.

‘When you leave a club you have to leave the business, the players and the staff in a better place than what you walked into.

‘And in Portsmouth, categorically, I think we left it in such a stronger place than what we inherited.

‘It’s disappointing that it didn’t go how we foresaw, but you do move on quickly and we were lucky enough to join a massive club in Wigan.’