Just under a month ago, positives were hard to come by at Accrington Stanley. We managed to lose our captain, management team and unbeaten run within a devastatingly short period of time. Winter seemed to take all that was good as our prize assets were courted away.
Then came a surprising and welcome resilience from the club both on and off the pitch. Respected senior player Leam Richardson took the reigns as caretaker manager and oversaw a battling victory against Gillingham. The players trained hard and played for each other. All the while, the board were doing their utmost to mark the path for our future. An admirable unity glowed from the club.
When the news came through that Paul Cook had been confirmed as our new manager with Richardson as his assistant, there was nothing but praise from all quarters. The board had found a man that met all of our criteria and made thorough efforts to get him to Accrington. They also recognised the job done by Leam in his interim position and rightly looked to keep him involved.
With all the information we have available, this seems to be the perfect appointment for Stanley. We have people in charge that have had previous success with the club, teaming together to carve out a new era. The board have done a superb job in an unfamiliar state of affairs at our club.
Tuesday’s away game at Rotherham was less joyous. We were unable to take anything away from the cursed fortress in South Yorkshire as the Don Valley Stadium asked too much of us once more. We’ll be disappointed to achieve nothing from such an important game and losing to a penalty kick makes the defeat all the more regrettable.
This result only makes Cook’s debut as Stanley manager all the more important. Tomorrow we take on Plymouth Argyle at home and will need to stamp our authority as serious play-off contenders in order to match the scrap of the relegation fodder. All of the fans will be absolutely behind the new set up. Good luck, Paul. Welcome back.
On, Stanley, On.