Nothing ever surprises me in football.
And that includes seeing Paul Cook set to leave for Wigan a few weeks after winning the title.
Everything was so great at the end of the season. With success these things happen, however. People become wanted by others, whether it’s as a player or manager.
Cookie has to do the right thing by himself and his family, and the club can’t allow themselves to be held to ransom. There’s a limit on what they can and can’t do. That’s the way of the world.
I’m not looking to dig anyone out. It’s one of those things and, as Cookie said himself, ‘we keep going’.
I wish him all the best, if and when the move is completed. The same goes for Leam Richardson and the rest of the coaching staff.
They deserve a lot of thanks for everything they achieved and finally getting us out of League Two at the fourth attempt.
The business of football is the same as any other. You need to be prepared for these things happening and react to them. Things change.
It’s a shame in many ways, but we have to look forward. We can’t afford to sit still.
We have to move forward, as Paul does now in his new role at Wigan.
There will be a period of transition I’m sure, but I think there would have been a lot of player change even if Cookie stayed.
That’s what happens after a promotion. A couple have already left and a few have committed.
We’ve gone up a level so there will be players staying and going, and, with a new manager coming in, that will change things as well.
We have to get on with what we need to do now, that’s the harsh reality of things.
We all like to linger on positive memories, but as I say, we have to get ready for the challenges next season offer.
No one person is bigger than the club – player or manager. It’s what’s best for the club which counts.
If Cookie’s thoughts are elsewhere we have to do what’s best for us.
I’m sure there will be a mixed reaction to him leaving. Some will say good riddance, some will say it’s fair enough and others will be gutted about it.
I thank Cookie for what he’s done for this club and wish him the best of luck – although not too much when they go up against us!