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He's off: Sligo confirm Cook's departure for Accrington Stanley

The Bit O’Red will have to find a new manager pretty sparkish as their current one has joined the Npower League Two side.

Cook leaves after five years at the Showgrounds.
Cook leaves after five years at the Showgrounds.
Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdTS9q1RzuI

PAUL COOK HAS been appointed the new manager of Accrington Stanley just days after Sligo had announced he was staying put.

Talks were held last week over a possible move to the Npower League Two outfit and the two clubs finalised a compensation package but negotiations broke down when the 44-year-old failed to agree personal terms.

Sligo chairman Michael Toolan attempted to move on from the episode on Friday and backed Cook to begin preparations for the upcoming Airtricity League Premier Division campaign but have done a u-turn by releasing a statement confirming his departure.

“Paul Cook has the distinction of being the most successful manager in the history of Sligo Rovers,” Toolan said on Sligo’s website.

His achievements will live long in the memory of everybody associated with Rovers and we want to thank him for his outstanding and historic contribution to us.

“Paul is greatly admired for his management skills but also the attractive style of football his team produced, his engagement with supporters and the hunger to see Sligo Rovers win honours. It produced three trophies, regular European football and some of the best league seasons we have ever had.

“It made him universally popular with the club’s fans, the wider community in Sligo and beyond. We did not want to lose Paul but we also respected his wish of returning to England.”

Cook, who is a Liverpool native and ended his career playing career at Stanley back in 2006, added on AccringtonStanley.co.uk: “It’s with great sadness that I leave Sligo.

“But all my thoughts now are on trying to maintain the success that Accrington Stanley have enjoyed since I was here as a player.”

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The search for a new manager will begin and former Galway United and Dundalk boss Ian Foster had been heavily tipped after holding talks with the Bit O’Red last week before Cook’s original deal feel through, but is now poised to become Cook’s No2 at Stanley.

On a new appointment, Sligo PRO Keith O’Dwyer told TheScore: “We will be holding a board meeting tonight to discuss possible candidates. We have received a couple of offers from managers already and are expecting high interest in the position, which is a credit to Paul for the state he leaves the club in.

“We would hope to have the role filled within the next two weeks and before the window closes on February 24 in order to bring in a couple more players ahead of the new season.”

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