Cole has been '˜model pro'˜ - Wigan Athletic chief
Paul Cook has hailed the professionalism of Devante Cole for his patience before popping up at the perfect moment to keep Wigan Athletic on track for the League One title.
Cole joined Latics in January having scored 12 goals in the first half of the season for Fleetwood.
But his game-time with Latics had been restricted to just two substitute run-outs – totally nine minutes – before he got the call in midweek against Oxford.
Just eight minutes remained, but that was enough for Cole to lay on the only goal for Will Grigg, before hitting the post himself in added time.
“It’s been hard for me as a manager to keep these lads happy, because they all want to play,” acknowledged Cook.
“Devante’s been so patient to wait for his chance, and he’s deserved his chance.
“He’s been part of training but obviously you want to be a part of it on a matchday.
“Maybe he turned up for the game not even expecting to be sub, but you’ve got to maintain your standards all the time.
“He’s been coming in on the off-days when the lads who have been playing have been given off.
“And it is tough for those lads to keep focused on the job in hand.
“But that winning goal was probably one of the happiest moments I’ve had for a long time in football.
“It was such a big moment, a big moment, in the latter stages of a big game.
“The gap’s now eight points to Shrewsbury, with four games to go, and the maths is massively with us.”