The Wigan Athletic development which delivers a hammer blow to former Portsmouth boss Paul Cook's Ipswich Town plans

Former Pompey assistant manager Leam Richardson is the new boss at Wigan Athletic.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 7:03 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 7:56 am

The Latics have made Richardson’s temporary position at the DW Stadium permanent - ending the chances of a reunion with former Blues boss Paul Cook at Ipswich Town.

Cook has worked with the 41-year-old as his assistant wherever he’s gone, but that will not continue with Wigan’s new owners, Phoenix 2021, making their move after four wins on the bounce drove the side to the brink of League One safety.

The Scouser had previously spoken of his expectation he’d ‘revisit’ the prospect of Richardson joining him after his old side’s fate this season had become clearer.

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Richardson told Latics TV ‘I’m very proud to have been given the opportunity by the new ownership and Mal (Brannigan). I’m very privileged when you know about the history, heritage and fanbase of the club, so it’s not a hard decision to make.

‘I think when you know the history, even back to 1995 when Mr Whelan took the club and built the stadium, and you see the players and the world class managers that have come through.

‘From my point of view, if I can emulate half of what they’ve done and really give my all for the fans, I’ll be very proud.

Leam Richardson and Paul Cook at Pompey

‘It came apparent quickly with the new ownership with their vision and ambition for the football club, it matches up with mine.

‘Wigan Athletic football club is a huge club, as we’ve seen and experienced in the last few decades into Europe and lately into the Championship, and that’s where we want to be.

‘With the support from the new ownership, and the drive of the fans and the staff, hopefully we can get there.’

Richardson has carried Wigan through a difficult period on the pitch, as the club fought for survival through administration since last July before their takeover was completed last month.

He added: ‘For me, in the four years I’ve been here, and certainly in the last 12 months, the support we’ve been given and finding out what it actually means to the fans and the football club, it made the decision even more seamless.

‘We had some challenging times over the last 12 months, but you saw the donations and the support we had through social media.

‘You quickly realise how much it means to the fans and how much history is there. You see how desperate they are to come to the game with their family and support the football club they love.

‘Hopefully, we’ve done them proud in tough times and I’m hoping we can do them proud in the future.

‘People know the affiliation I have with the football club and I think they’ll know how hard I’ll work to try and ensure it goes back to where it belongs in the football pyramid.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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