Cook: Last-gasp Bournemouth equaliser was '˜fair'
Paul Cook admitted there were no hard feelings despite Bournemouth popping up with a stoppage-time equaliser to prevent an FA Cup giant-killing- as he prepares to welcome Hearts forward Jamie Walker to the club.
The Latics boss had seen his side take a fully-deserved two-goal lead by the half-hour mark, through Will Grigg and Nick Powell, only for the home side to level after the break through Lys Mousset and Steve Cook.
It could have been so different had Latics been awarded a penalty shortly before the Bournemouth equaliser, when Ivan Toney tumbled to the ground as he rounded goalkeeper Artur Boruc, only for referee Andy Madley to wave play on.
All of which means a replay at the DW next week - which Cook doesn’t have much of a problem with.
“I thought it was probably a fair result, because we did come under real pressure in that second half,” the Latics boss acknowledged.
“Bournemouth came on very strong, but at the other end I thought we always remained a threat on the break, with a couple of chances.
“Obviously the penalty decision right at the end is a big decision, and if we get that, and convert it, we’re 3-1 up.
“But the referee hasn’t given it, and the weight of pressure and momentum from Bournemouth has seen them equalise - in my opinion probably fairly.
“It was a good game for the neutral. When you get two teams intent on playing football, you tend to get a good game.
“Great credit to all the players on the pitch for making it that way.”
Cook’s assistant Leam Richardson was sent to the stands for his reaction to the non-awarding of the penalty, but the gaffer was maintaining his sense of humour.
“Of course it was a penalty, and of course he should have been sent off!” laughed Cook.
“On a serious note, and with hindsight, none of us know, having not seen it back.
“At the time it looked a simple decision - the lad’s gone round the goalkeeper, the goalkeeper’s gone to ground, and it looks a penalty.
“But there’s no criticism from me to the official in any way, shape or form.
“Refereeing is a tough decision, and those split decisions are difficult to get right all of the time.”
Cook had followed through with his promise of fielding a strong side, with only one change - Max Power for on-loan Wolves midfielder Lee Evans.
With the Welshman not injured, it seems his absence may have been due to off-the-field reasons, involving his parent club.
“There’ll be something announced on Lee probably over the next 24 hours,” revealed Cook. “That was an internal decision if you like.”
The Latics boss also did little to hose down speculation there will be an imminent arrival at the DW Stadium in the form of Hearts ace Walker, as reported by the Wigan Post last week.
“Obviously there’s something going on in the background there,” he added.
“I’m sure there’ll be an announcement on that one as well.”