'˜Jacobs is a manager's dream to work with'
Paul Cook is not a man to get carried away. A strong start to the league season, going top of the table and being placed as bookmakers' favourites for the title hasn't shifted his level-headedness.
But that’s not to say nothing at this early stage of the season will put a smile on the manager’s face.
As Latics took command with a strong first-half display against Oldham last weekend, Michael Jacobs struck with his second goal in as many matches.
The winger, consistently a stand-out performer, began his Latics career when they were last in League One, scoring 10 goals in his first season before last year’s forgettable Championship campaign, where goals were harder to come by as he hit the back of the net three times.
It would be wrong to measure the former Wolves man’s contribution on goals though – but Cook is still pleased to see Jacobs off the mark this season.
“It’s great for us all. It’s great to see Michael Jacobs score again,” said Cook.
“It’s healthy that we’re scoring a few goals.
“He’s a good footballer and a good lad.
“Every day he comes in and he’s one I would class as a role model to others.
“He trains like he plays, you can see why Michael is having such a fantastic football career.”
Jacobs is predictably set to feature heavily in Cook’s plans for the season, and despite not using goals as the only measure of the player’s success, Cook expects him to have no problems topping-up his tally this term.
“He’s a manager’s dream without a shadow of a doubt,” said Cook.
“As a manager you couldn’t be happier with a player like Michael.
“I’d expect Michael to play the majority of games and I’d be very disappointed if Michael was only going to get 10 goals this season – that’s for sure!”
But Jacobs’ heroic aside, Cook is preparing his Latics side to face his old Portsmouth club for the first time since he left the south coast club in May.
And despite making a flying start to their league campaign, the manager will want to see improvements from a second half performance against Oldham which frustrated him.
“I was genuinely disappointed second half,” he said.
“For us to have good support like we did, it was a chance for us to go and put a marker down to say how strong and how good we can be.”
“While it was pleasing for Ivan (Toney) to get off the mark and other factors that look okay, but we should genuinely not get carried away in any shape or form.”