This has been such a good year, says Cook

It probably wouldn't have met with the approval of any sport scientist of nutritionist.

Tuesday, 24th April 2018, 2:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th April 2018, 2:31 pm
Latics will be in the Championship next season

But Paul Cook was only too happy for his Wigan Athletic players to let their hair down on Saturday night in the town, despite the small matter of tonight’s game at Bristol Rovers.

“It’s the emotion of the club, the emotion of the moment,” Cook explained.

“When you’ve been relegated like this club was last year, it creates pressure.

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“You’ve only got to go back to last week, with 85 minutes on the clock against Oxford.

“The whole season was in the balance up to that point.

“Four days later, the sun’s shining at Fleetwood and you’re left to wonder how it’s all happened so quick.

“But it does, it’s football, and I think it was good on Saturday night for us all to enjoy the moment – players, management, the chairman, the chief executive. We haven’t done it yet... but we’ve gone a long way towards doing what we set out to achieve.

“This has been such a good year, not just with promotion but also getting through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

“The only really disappointing game for me was the Blackpool game (a 2-0 defeat), when for the first time I thought: ‘Urgh’.

“For a manager, to be able to look back on a whole season and only think that about maybe one or two games, the lads deserve all the plaudits they deserve.

“There’s more than enough time for all that to come out, and for us to be patting each other on the back.

“But the most important thing now is to stay with it – we’ve got three games to go.”

Wigan’s promotion back to the second tier at the first attempt was secured when rock-bottom Bury scored a late equaliser at third-placed Shrewsbury.

And Cook admits the way Paul Hurst’s Shrews have fallen away in recent weeks has been an unexpected surprise.

“Shrewsbury have faltered in the last week or so, and I honestly didn’t see that coming,” the Latics boss revealed.

“They have had a season that you would not believe.

“The squad of players, the manager, the trip to Wembley... they have done unbelievable.

“It’s unreal to say but they deserve to be allowed to falter... but they do, because they have done that well.

“I really do hope that, if they finish in the play-offs, they follow us up, if that’s how it’s meant to be.”