Cook aiming to shake off ‘losing mentality’

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

Paul Cook believes one of his first jobs as Wigan Athletic manager will be to eradicate the ‘losing mentality’ in and around the club.

Cook and his squad are back on English soil after a week in Spain that was more about getting to know each other off the field rather than gelling on it.

But the next five weeks will be work, work, work – complete with an alcohol ban on the players – ahead of the season-opener at MK Dons on August 5.

And Cook wants to introduce a sea-change in mindset following the disappointment of relegation last term.

“We’ve got a very strong squad here, there’s no doubt about that,” he told the Wigan Post.

“But habits are what they are, and we’ve probably become a bit too used to getting beat over the last few months.

“When you become used to something like that, it can become a little bit encamped in the club. What we need now is a fresh start, and pre-season will help us to do that.

“I want this place to be vibrant. I want the players to be happy about the place.”

Latics are hoping to tie up the signature of forward Gavin Massey from Leyton Orient, while Fleetwood midfielder Jimmy Ryan is another reported target.

But Cook remains just as interested in making sure academy products are afforded a pathway to the first team.

“A club should always be looking to develop their own home-grown players,” he added. “If you’ve got an academy, you’re doing it to develop players.

“And the reason you have a recruitment department is to find new players. Sometimes this all gets forgotten too easily in football.

“At every good football club, every department is running well, and we’ve got the fundamental things in place here.

“Our job is to interact together, work well together, and try to produce players for this football club.”