CHIPPENHAM Town have appointed ex-Gloucester City manager Michael Cook as the club’s interim boss until the end of the season.

Cook left the National League North outfit in November, despite only taking the reins in January, and had been searching for a new job before landing the role at Hardenhuish Park following the dismissal of Mark Collier.

In a statement on the club’s website, Chippenham said they opted to react quickly to give the new management team – which will include assistant manager Gary Horgan – the best chance to improve results and player discipline.

Chairman Neil Blackmore stated he felt the decision to sack Collier last Thursday was necessary as the club takes on a new direction before explaining why he has opted to pursue a caretaker manager rather than an immediate permanent option.

Blackmore said: “Michael has been appointed until the end of the season as a caretaker manager, and his remit will be to make sure we stay up in National League South.

“That will give me some time to go out and interview prospective candidates, and make sure I find the right person to take the job on a permanent basis.

“I’m really pleased on the one hand because my phone hasn’t stopped ringing.

“I haven’t advertised the job anywhere, but my phone has not stopped ringing with people putting their name into the hat for the permanent job.”

Should Cook steer the Bluebirds far away from danger and into mid-table with an attractive brand of successful football, Blackmore insisted the caretaker boss will put himself at the front of the queue for the full-time role next season.

The 51-year-old manager has 17 league games to prove his worth, starting with the weekend trip to Dulwich Hamlet.

In the meantime, the Chippenham chairman says he will continue to field calls from potential managers who see the football club as an attractive proposition.

Blackmore said: “I’ve met a few people already within the last week, we’ve talked about the various options, but we hope Michael can do a good job until the end of the season.

“If he does really well as caretaker manager, he’s going to put himself in the driving seat for the permanent role.

“If he wants to be considered for the permanent job, then keeping us up and pushing on will put him in a very strong position.

“But that doesn’t mean I won’t look at other candidates.

“From now until the end of the season, I will continue to look at other candidates as well and seeing what else is out there.”