Cook: I’m pleased with the win - and that’s it

Josh Laurent is congratulated by Will Grigg
Josh Laurent is congratulated by Will Grigg

Paul Cook admitted his Wigan Athletic side were a tad fortunate to book their place in the second round of the League Cup with a 2-1 victory over Blackpool.

First-half goals from Josh Laurent and Jordan Flores gave Latics - sporting 11 changes from the weekend win at MK Dons - a 2-0 half-time lead against the run of play.

And after Armand Gnanduillet pulled one back on the hour mark, Latics were hanging on in the final quarter when Blackpool substitute Jamille Matt squandered a hat-trick of excellent chances.

“I’m not going to start criticising the team or anything like that but, if we’re honest, we did expect to play better,” acknowledged Cook.

“We had a lot of attack-minded players on the pitch, but we just didn’t retain the ball well enough, and we didn’t create enough chances.

“That’s all for the match analysis side of it, but to be honest I felt Blackpool were full value for something out of the game.

“When you make 11 changes you do know what you’re going to get.

“We’re not sitting here thinking we should be passing it great and doing everything else great with so many changes.

“The changes will influence the style of play, that is unavoidable.

“The pleasing thing as a club is to get through the tie.

“I’m disappointed with the way we played, but it’s all about learning curves for the younger lads, and getting them that experience out on the pitch.”

Cook reserved special praise for midfielder Laurent who, having joined from Hartlepool midway through last season, was making his debut in the engine room.

“I’ve been very pleased with Josh in general as a player,” enthused Cook.

“But for him and the rest of the young lads to develop, they’ve got to play.

“If they don’t play, they’re not going to develop and they won’t improve.”

Cook was forced into one injury-enforced substitution, although he is not worried about any long-term problem.

“Terell Thomas says he’s been suffering with tendinitis,” added the Latics boss.

“I don’t know where he’s learned that word...but it’s not serious.”