Cook: We are in a '˜very strong position'
Paul Cook wants Wigan Athletic to kick on and take full advantage of the '˜very strong position' they find themselves in at the top of League One.
Despite being held to a 0-0 draw at home by Peterborough, Latics extended their lead at the summit to three points over Shrewsbury, with Blackburn a further two points back.
Which meant Cook’s glass remains half-full despite a third stalemate on the spin at the DW.
“If you’d have told me at the start of the day it would have been 0-0, I certainly wouldn’t have believed you,” he said.
“But if you’d have told me we would have extended our lead at the top, we’d all have been made up - and we have.
“Our goal difference is such that, even if we were to lose our next game, we can’t be removed off the top.
“And that’s a very strong position to be in.
“As the weeks tick by, and the number of games reduces, those gaps become huge.
“At previous clubs, we’ve been in positions like this, and the most important thing is to concentrate on yourselves.
“The end of the season looks so far away, but as every game gets ticked off, it gets that little bit nearer.
“And that’s why we all love football.”
Try as they might, Latics lacked the cutting edge in the final third to break down a determined Posh rearguard.
But Cook was delighted with the application shown by his defensive players, who helped Christian Walton record a seventh clean sheet in a row - one short of a club record.
“Peterborough leave certain players in certain areas of the field, and they will hurt you if you come on to them,” Cook recognised.
“You only have to look at last weekend, and their FA Cup win at Aston Villa, to see how dangerous they are.
“We spoke at half-time about that, and the need to stay focused.
“Staying switched on at all times is the absolute key to these games.
“When you’re up against a side that you know can hurt you, it’s imperative you remain switched on.
“Probably (Marcus) Maddison and (Jack) Marriott have had two of their quietest games all season, and that’s credit to our boys.
“On the flip side, they’ll probably say the same about our forward players, and that’s credit to their boys.
“Now and again teams should just shake hands, wish each other well, and move on.”
Prior to the game, there had been an emotional minute’s silence to honour Juan Carlos Garcia, the former Latics defender who lost his battle with leukaemia at the age of 29.
“I just think it’s such a heartbreaking story,” said Cook.
“Our deepest sympathies go to his entire family, and I’m sure that goes for every single one of our supporters.”