Cook: I want to bring back the good times

Paul Cook and David Sharpe
Paul Cook and David Sharpe

Paul Cook arrived at Wigan Athletic yesterday saying he wanted to bring back the good times.

The former Portsmouth boss was unveiled as Latics’ new man in charge on a three-year deal, after negotiations started last weekend.

The way my teams play I think stats will speak for themselves

Paul Cook

Returning to the club where he spent time as a player from 1984 to ‘88 and again on loan from 2001 to ‘02, Cook will also bring his number two Leam Richardson with him to the DW Stadium, and has said he wants to remove the ‘cloud’ of last season’s relegation to League One quickly.

“When you’ve been relegated there’s always going to be a little bit of a cloud, a little bit of sadness around the club but one thing for me as manager now – that’s got to disappear quick,” he said.

“We have to look forward together, as a club, everyone for me must come together.

“Happy clubs for me are successful clubs and my job as manager is to guide that ship forward.”

Latics fans endured a miserable Championship campaign last term, with a lack of goals top of the list of complaints.

But Cook, named League Two Manager of the Year for last season, is confident he can change that.

“Hopefully score some goals,” he said on what he hopes to change.

“Football can be tough. Managers can get criticised so quickly with social media. Sometimes as a manager you have to accept criticism.

“The way my teams play I think stats will speak for themselves.

“We have to press ourselves as a good footballing side, who penetrate, who get the ball forward and who can excite Wigan fans who will enjoy coming to the DW Stadium and seeing their team win some football games.”

Cook will start pre-season with his squad on June 24 as he prepares for the League One campaign, a division Latics won in the 2015/16 season and hopes he can bring success working with chairman David Sharpe.

Playing for Latics during the Dave Whelan era, when on loan from Burnley in 2001-02, Cook will now work with Whelan’s grandson in his latest period at the club.

And he hopes fans will see more success under Sharpe after the Premier League years, FA Cup win and Europa League made lifetime memories.

“To be fair to Dave Whelan, for the town of Wigan he’s done some amazing things,” said Cook.

“With David Sharpe, he’s got that mantle to take on. I think wigan can be very proud of the Whelan family and what they’ve done. Hopefully together now we can have more success.

“I think his grandad had some phenomenal success. To see Wigan play in Europe – it’s amazing isn’t it?

“For the chairman now, it’s his time. It’s important that he makes his mistakes as we all do, in sport and in life, and learn some experiences.

“Hopefully I can, together with him, give the people of Wigan some good days.

“It’s going to be work right away.”