Cook hails players’ work-ethic after draw with Liverpool

Alex Gilbey scored Latics' only goal
Alex Gilbey scored Latics' only goal

Paul Cook could not hide his delight at seeing Wigan Athletic hold Premier League giants Liverpool in his first match in charge.

An Alex Gilbey goal midway through the first half gave Latics a deserved lead against Jurgen Klopp’s expensively-assembled side.

Paul Cook shares a joke with counterpart Jurgen Klopp

Paul Cook shares a joke with counterpart Jurgen Klopp

The visitors eventually found an equaliser on the stroke of half-time through new signing Mohamed Salah.

But despite making 11 changes - and finishing the game with a virtual Development Squad on the field - Latics held on to share the spoils.

“It’s great for our lads, and great for our club to play against a side like Liverpool,” acknowledged Cook.

“For us to get a 1-1 draw was very, very pleasing, and I’m delighted with the lads in general.

“We did our best to take the game to Liverpool as much as we could, for as long as we could.

“Eventually their quality was always going to come through, they forced us back, and at the end we were hanging in there.

“But I think when you work as hard as we did, you deserve that little bit of luck.”

The crowd of 12,715 would certainly have enjoyed the entertainment on offer, which was at the top end of what is typically served up at this time of year.

“We had an entertaining 3-3 draw behind closed doors against Crewe last week, we’ve now held our own against Liverpool, and the likelihood is we’ll probably go to Southport and get beat!” chuckled Cook.

“But that’s what pre-season’s all about - learning about the players, and them learning about us.

“But I can only tell our supporters that I’ve been delighted with the application of the players - not just tonight, but ever since I’ve come in.

“The whole work ethic about them, the facilities we have thanks to the chairman, is fantastic - and long may that continue.”