Blackburn taking '˜our' top spot has annoyed me - Wigan Athletic boss!

Paul Cook admits having to endure the sight of Blackburn Rovers taking advantage of Wigan Athletic's inactivity of late to steal the leadership of League One has got right up his nose!

Saturday, 3rd March 2018, 8:32 pm
Updated Saturday, 3rd March 2018, 9:40 pm
Paul Cook

Cook’s side have been knocked off the summit in recent weeks due to the bad weather as well as their remarkable run to the last eight of the FA Cup.

Blackburn have filled their boots in the meantime to open up a six-point lead over third-placed Latics – who have four games in hand.

All of which adds an intriguing sub-plot to Sunday’s massive clash at Ewood Park in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

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“It can get a little bit frustrating, when you’re watching Sky Sports and they’re saying we are going across to ‘the league leaders, Blackburn’,” revealed Cook.

“If we’d have played those four games we have in hand, we might have had a chance of picking up more than those six points and being top of the league ourselves.

“We don’t know for sure we would, we don’t know for sure we wouldn’t – that’s football.

“But we worked very hard to get to the top of the league in the first place, and it’s not nice to see someone else up there now.

“There’s always a nice feeling, a nice satisfaction, about looking at the league table and seeing yourselves at the top.

“They’ve managed to get a jump on us by continually winning.

“We’ve now got a massive challenge in front of us, we’re not stupid.

“But we know that if we win our games in hand, we win this league.

“And when you have that in your grasp – until someone takes it away from you – we’ll stick to that belief.”

The waters at the top are further muddied by the presence in second spot of Shrewsbury, who are two points ahead of Latics having played three gamers more.

But while most observers expect Paul Hurst’s men to fade at some point, Tony Mowbray’s Rovers were tipped alongside Latics as long ago as last summer to win automatic promotion.

And Cook is well aware of the psychological advantage either side stand to gain by getting the better of the other this weekend.

“In my opinion, Sunday’s game will have a huge bearing on both teams with regards where they’ll finish the season,” the Latics manager added.

“If we can go there and win, it’ll give us a massive advantage over Blackburn.

“And the reverse is obviously true for Blackburn.

“Tony will be telling his men there’s a chance to go nine points clear – albeit with us still having four games in hand.

“What would you rather have? Nine points or four games in hand?

“If I’m being honest, I’d rather have the nine points!

“But anyone who can finish above Blackburn will be promoted this year.”