Chesterfield Reject Cook Approach

Last updated : 23 April 2015 By Jim Bonner

Chesterfield have released a statement today stating that they have refused Portsmouth permission to talk to their manager Paul Cook.

Pompey made the move for the Spireites boss this morning with a phone call to chairman Chris Turner but he understandably rejected the approach given that Chesterfield will soon contest the League One play-offs with a view to being promoted to the Championship at the end of the season.

Some people have said that the timing of the approach is terrible and they'd be right from a Chesterfield point of view as it's bound to unsettle Cook and harm his team's chances of promotion.

However, whilst the timeliness of the approach may be seen as a "lack of class" from Pompey, if the move means a greater chance of Chesterfield bombing out of the play-offs and failing to get promoted then there would be a greater chance of coaxing Cook to Fratton Park and sooner given that there is a month to go before the League One play-off final and ideally the board would want a new manager in place before then.

And Cook seems to be the number one target for McInnes and co. given how quickly they have acted after drawing up a shortlist of candidates today.

Would he be the right man for Pompey? His managerial career has seen almost nothing but relative success excluding his first job at Southport when he was sacked in 2007.

He fared much better at Irish side Sligo Rovers having transformed them from a struggling team into a trophy winning side in the space of five years before he returned to England and Accrington Stanley where he guided them to a 14th place finish in the 2011-2012 season when they were hot favourites for relegation.

That achievement saw Chesterfield prise him away from Stanley where he finished 8th in his first season in charge before winning League Two last year. That impressive form has continued with the Spireites now virtually certain of a play-off place in League One with one of the smallest budgets in the division, a fact that Cook is rumoured to be unhappy about.

Off the pitch, Cook is seen as one of the respectful men in management and has earned plaudits for the way he handles the media. He certainly has something about him and the only real question about him would be whether he could handle the immense pressure he would be under given the size of the clubs he has previously managed and the lofty expectations of the Portsmouth fans.

But there are certainly worse candidates out there and Cook would be an ambitious but sensible move from the Portsmouth board if they were to meet Chesterfield's reported buy-out clause and appoint him as the club's new manager in the near future.