Embrace the past, urges Cook

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

Paul Cook has signalled his intention to ‘embrace the past’ as he bids to create an exciting new future at Wigan Athletic.

Much has happened in the three decades since Cook moved on from Latics to further his playing career elsewhere.

But it remains a family club at heart, and Cook is adamant that has to be the case as Latics try to bounce back from the disappointment of relegation.

“As a manager, I want to embrace the past, I think it’s important,” he acknowledged.

“I want the training ground to be an embracing place.

“I’m not someone who believes in shutting doors, I’m not like that. I want this to be a happy club, with the fans enjoying watching to come and see us play.

“I want to put a pride in the team and the club that’s been there before.”

Among the changes since Cook was a Latics player has been the move to the DW Stadium, although it’s clear he remembers the club’s former home with great fondness.

“We had some great days at Springfield Park...going back to the Harry McNally days, there were some good times,” Cook admitted.

“I was only here a relatively short time but they gave me my league debut, and we had the high of the famous FA Cup run in 1987.

“As a young lad, it was a really enjoyable time to be playing football, and the support was always very strong.

“And I’m very, excited to be here as Wigan manager, coming back ‘home’ if you like.”

Cook is hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow old-boy Roberto Martinez, who delivered the club’s greatest-ever day with the 2013 FA Cup win.

And while another trip to Wembley looks a big ask, in the meantime he’ll settle for continuous improvement.

“If you look back at my previous jobs, I’ve feel I’ve always done a good job,” he added.

“I feel I’ve always left the club in a lot better state than I found it. The challenge now is to keep that going here at Wigan.”