I knew Grigg would catch fire again - Cook

Will Grigg
Will Grigg

Paul Cook admitted he was never in any doubt Will Grigg would reignite after the striker fired Wigan Athletic to a 2-0 victory over Walsall.

Latics cemented their second-placed position in League One, four points behind Shrewsbury, with a convincing victory over the Saddlers.

Grigg opened the scoring on the half-hour mark with a clinical finish, and then secured the points just before the hour mark from the penalty spot, after he’d been fouled by James Wilson.

After going almost a year without scoring in the league, Grigg now has three goals in his last four starts.

And his return to form has come as no shock to his manager.

“Things like that don’t worry me too much,” revealed Cook.

“A player of Will Grigg’s quality will always score goals.

“As a manager you know the more minutes he gets on the pitch, the more effect he’ll have on the game - similar to Ivan Toney in that respect.

“Some people will see him going through a difficult spell but, as a manager, you know he’ll come through that - and he has.

“It was great to see him get two goals, and he might even have had a hat-trick.”

Grigg, Nick Powell, Michael Jacobs, Gavin Massey, Sam Morsy and David Perkins had chances to add further goals, only to fluff their lines.

And while the margin of victory should have been even more, Cook was happy enough with the three points.

“We’re really pleased with the win,” recognised Cook.

“We weren’t anywhere near our best, but great credit to the players.

“People will only remember the points tally at the end of the season - they won’t remember every single performance.

“We huffed and puffed at times, but great credit to the squad.

“It was very much a victory for the squad, with David Perkins coming on at half-time, Max Power in the second half and Gary Roberts at the end.

“We’ve got some great experience in there, we’ve got a strong bench, and it’s standing us in good stead.”

Jamie Jones hardly touched the ball in the 90 minutes, but he was alert enough to pull off a fabulous save just before then end to deny Walsall substitute Amadou Bakayoko.

It was Jones’ fifth clean sheet in the last six games - with only last weekend’s 3-2 defeat at Peterborough blotting his copybook.

“That’s what was so disappointing about the Peterborough game - it was so unlike us,” mused Cook.

“But that’s water under the bridge, and it’s all about working as hard as we can.

“We’re pleased with how things are going, although we know how quickly things can change.

“Last weekend, we were all disappointed, but you have to keep going.

“We want to be a good club that plays the right way and keeps our fans happy.”

Cook also lavished praise on playmaker Powell, who was involved in both goals, before his now-customary substitution in the final quarter.

“Nick’s such a talented boy, we all know that,” added the Latics chief.

“We’re just delighted we’re able to keep him on the pitch for such a long period of time.

“I think he was sulking at the length of time we left him on the pitch before he got his round of applause...!”