Cook in Hunt for Noel signing

Noel Hunt and Callum Lang
Noel Hunt and Callum Lang

Paul Cook is hopeful of making Noel Hunt’s stay at Wigan Athletic a permanent one.

The veteran striker appeared for Latics as a trialist at Notts County at the weekend, coming on as a substitute and helping to turn the game in his side’s favour.

Hunt, who has been training with Latics since leaving Portsmouth at the end of last term, laid on the winning goal for youngster Callum Lang.

And boss Cook signalled his intention to try to push through a full-time deal.

“Noel’s great, Noel’s Noel, he’ll never let anyone down,” Cook told the Wigan Post.

“Hopefully something can get sorted out for Noel here in the short-term because I think he’s a great influence on every dressing room he goes in.

“He’s still got a massive part to play. His game management and experience is great.

“He’s not someone to lead the line every week. But in terms of bringing someone like young Langy on, speaking to him, and maybe coming off the bench if he has to, I think there’s a role for him here.

“Noel would have stayed with me at Portsmouth had we stayed down there, for the experience he brings.

“You’ve only got to look at David Perkins as well – it’s exactly the same with him. Great lads...dressing rooms are always better places for people like those being around.

“There’s too many...not bad attitudes...but too many different types of people in dressing rooms now.

“The more Noel Hunts and David Perkins’ in your dressing room the better.”

Fellow free agents Giles Coke and Steven Schumacher have also been training with Latics this summer, but Cook says neither will be staying long-term.

“They were more of favours to be honest,” added Cook.

“They weren’t here looking to sign for me. I’m always available to help out players who we know.”

Indeed Schumacher has now joined Southport.

Latics, meanwhile, are being strongly linked with a move for Chesterfield’s utility man Dion Donahue.

Reports suggest Spireites boss Gary Caldwell wants his former midfield general Perkins in part-exchange, which would apear unlikely given Cook’s comments regarding the 35-year-old, who skippered the side at Meadow Lane.

Latics have also been linked with forward Gary Roberts, 33, who has been told he can leave Portsmouth.

But Cook is working hard to offload fringe players at the moment rather than looking to bring in more bodies.

Kaiyne Woolery and Billy Mckay are likely to be the next two out of the door, the former possibly on a loan basis.