Cook: Wigan Athletic back where we belong!
That’s Paul Cook’s message after seeing his Wigan Athletic side see off Oldham 3-0, before news filtered through of Shrewsbury’s 3-1 defeat at Rochdale - meaning an already Good Friday suddenly become a Great Friday.
Latics are now a point clear of second-placed Blackburn, with a game in hand, and two clear of third-placed Shrewsbury, who have played two games more.
“We’re delighted to get back on top of the table,” enthused the Latics boss.
“When we played Blackburn away the other week, we were four games behind them.
“There’s always a kudos about being top of the league - without a shadow of a doubt.
“We know we’ve still done nothing in real terms.
“But it’s still nice to look at the table and see yourselves up there.
“We started the day in third, we’re now on top, and it’s good for the players to see that.”
It was a welcome return to the DW for Latics, who had recorded four away wins on the bounce since the 3-3 draw against Scunthorpe.
Will Grigg opened the scoring on 40 minutes before being replaced at half-time by James Vaughan, who made it 2-0 four minutes after the restart before Nick Powell added the icing to the cake on 66 minutes.
“After four tough away games and four wins, this was another hard one for us,” acknowledged Cook.
“They were a live threat, with lots of attacking quality on the pitch, plenty of creativity.
“And I was absolutely delighted with our play and the way we got the job done.
“That gives us 80 points now with nine games to go - and that’s a great achievement.”
Grigg’s goal justified his recall in place of Vaughan, with skipper Sam Morsy also back in the starting XI after international duty.
“Jay Fulton didn’t even make the bench today after starting the last two games, which we won,” added Cook.
“That’s how tough it is to get a place in this team - and as a manager that’s the hardest part of the job.
“There’s also the likes of Jamie Walker, Gary Roberts, Gavin Massey waiting for a chance...but Ryan Colclough’s come in and done so well.
“When you’ve got the quality we have in the squad, you’d expect moments during the 90 minutes when we produce something.
“And that can be the difference between winning games and losing games at this level.”