Accrington Stanley: Leam Richardson named new manager

Accrington have appointed Leam Richardson as their new manager, replacing Paul Cook who left Stanley to join Chesterfield last week.

Richardson, 32, has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at the Crown Ground.

Signed as a player by Accrington in 2005, Richardson served as Cook's assistant during his eight-month reign.

He took caretaker charge for the match against Bristol Rovers on Saturday, a game Stanley won 1-0 to end a run of four straight defeats in League Two.

Richardson, who was also briefly caretaker before Cook's appointment, stated prior to the game that he wished to take the job on a full-time basis.

We've put a lot of things in place over the last few years and the club's enjoyed a certain amount of success. For me to have the chance to build on that is great.

New Accrington manager Leam Richardson

The former Blackburn, Bolton, Notts County and Blackpool defender is still registered as a player with Stanley but has not played since December.

"I'm really pleased to get settled, get sorted and agree to stay as manager," he told BBC Radio Lancashire.

"It's a fantastic opportunity to be a Football League manager. I had to have a good think personally and professionally, whether it was right for myself, the club and the players.

"And after a few conversations, it became evident quite quickly that it was the right decision.

"I've learned a lot over the last 12 to 18 months and it puts you in better stead. I've been a number two as well and I do feel the time is right.

"I'm a confident person anyway, so if the chance had come nine months ago, I would have been saying the same thing. I feel ready for it.

"I don't think our targets are going to change from the start of the season. We go into every game expecting to compete and expecting to win.

"We've put a lot of things in place over the last few years and the club's enjoyed a certain amount of success. For me to have the chance to build on that is great."

Richardson's first match in permanent control of the first team will be the FA Cup first round tie against neighbours AFC Fylde on Saturday.

Meanwhile, defender Rob Atkinson has extended his loan spell from neighbours Fleetwood for another month.