Evans above - Lee's the business! - Cook

Paul Cook lavished praise on Lee Evans after the Welshman's two assists underpinned the 2-0 victory over Fleetwood that sent Wigan Athletic four points clear at the top of League One.

Saturday, 9th December 2017, 8:45 pm
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 5:31 pm
Lee Evans

Nick Powell and Dan Burn took advantage of pinpoint deliveries from Evans to see off Uwe Rosler’s Cod Army.

And Cook could not hide his admiration for the way the on-loan Wolves man has quickly become an integral part in the promotion push.

“I thought Lee was excellent overall,” enthused the Latics boss.

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“He’s playing at the height of his football, if you like, in terms of quality and enjoyment.

“Sometimes the system we play probably doesn’t suit him, or wouldn’t get the best out of him.

“It’s a natural talent he has, but it’s one that has to be harnessed and worked on down at the training ground.

“He’s so bright, and he has so much to offer.

“But we’ve got a style of play we enjoy, it works quite well for us, and long may that continue.”

It was Wigan’s third win on the bounce since the shock 2-1 home reversal to Bradford last month - a reaction Cook has been delighted with.

“I’m not the type of manager to get carried away,” he acknowledged.

“When we left this ground after the Bradford game, I was very disappointed.

“But we leave after this game quite happy, and that’s what football does to you.

“There’s a long way to go for everyone so we just keep going.

“The main positive was that, in very difficult conditions, the lads worked very hard to keep the clean sheet, especially out of possession.

“We were very honest with the play, and we scored very good goals at important times in the game, against what I would call an active Fleetwood team.

“They were a constant threat and some good players in their side with a lot of pace and energy, so we had to be on guard to get that clean sheet.

“I thought it was a difficult game for us in general - difficult opposition, difficult conditions.

“It was a game a lot of people expected us to win, but football doesn’t always work like that.

“Fleetwood are a very tactically astute team, with a proven manager in Uwe.

“They came here with a game-plan to counter-attack and hurt us with pace.

“They were always a threat and we had to be alive to that.”

Both of Wigan’s goals came from Evans crosses into the box, which Cook admitted was a premeditated tactic.

“Against teams that pack the middle of the pitch, you have to get into wide areas to hurt them,” he revealed.

“Sometimes that’s something I don’t feel we do well enough, because we want to dominate the ball.

“We’re sometimes a bit guilty of trying to play through teams, but I thought we deserve great credit for the win.

“It’s a great position to be in at the beginning of December, with that points tally we’re on.

“There’s so much to play for, and so much to work towards.

“We don’t get dead high when we win, and when we lose we don’t think it’s the end of the world.

“And we will lose again between now and the end of the season!

“Unfortunately for our fans, that is the case - and it could be next weekend at Wimbledon.

“All you can do is pick yourself up when you do get knocked back, and that’s what we’ve continued to do.

“We’re almost halfway through the season, and we’re doing okay.”