'4-4-2 was forced onto us', insists Wigan Athletic boss

Kieffer Moore, who played up top with Joe Garner at Millwall in midweek
Kieffer Moore, who played up top with Joe Garner at Millwall in midweek

Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook readily admits he was 'totally forced into' switching to a 4-4-2 formation in the last week.

But he says it remains a viable proposition going forwards - because of the injury situation and personnel he has at his disposal.

Latics have predominantly adopted a 4-2-3-1 formation since Cook took charge in the summer of 2017, recently tweaked to a 4-3-2-1 to accommodate an extra man in the engine room.

But after admitting at last month's fans forum at the DW Stadium he would never be tempted to go with two strikers, Cook has done so in the last two games - in the second half at Stoke last weekend, and from the off at Millwall in midweek.

However, he's not about to throw his footballing principles out of the window just yet.

"We were forced into it - totally forced into it," he revealed. "It was more to do with personnel than anything else.

"We only have two fit central midfielders, so we can't really play with three.

"The reality is sometimes teams are picked for you!

"You also look at the circumstances of the game, and how the game pans out at Millwall.

"If ever there was an opportunity for us to have two strikers on the pitch at the same time, Millwall was perfect.

"And I thought it worked quite well for us.

"Obviously with Reading playing with three centre-halves, that may not be seen in the same light, but we'll see."

Cook also reiterated his belief that discussions and debates about the way teams set up are not worth getting worked up about.

"In terms of formations and systems, I still feel they're very over-rated," he said.

"Millwall started the game in midweek with one up front, and played the second half with two up front.

"It is what it is, you can debate formations for as long as you want.

"Irrespective of the formations, we've had chances to go a couple of goals up in all our away games.

"I'm not so sure the formation plays as much of a part as some may think, but we'll keep working away."