`

‘Big week ahead’ for Wigan Athletic boss after setback

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

Paul Cook admits Wigan Athletic have ‘a big week ahead’ after seeing them lose 3-0 at Rangers in their final pre-season clash.

With the new Championship campaign kicking off next weekend, the Latics boss would not have been pleased to see his side capitulate at the beginning of the second period, conceding all three goals in an eight-minute blitz.

After a first half that was pretty even, it left Cook musing what might have been.

“I thought it was genuinely a game of two halves,” he reckoned.

“In the first half we looked good, strong, well organised, and I thought we would go on to win the game.

“But then we have a mad 15-minute spell at the beginning of the second half, and full credit to them for that.

“The game just got away from us, and Rangers are a very good side, very aggressive, and good value for the win.

“We know we’re about to go up into a fantastic league, and we thought today would give us a good indication of where we are at the moment.

“And on the back of a scoreline like that, it’s clear there’s a lot of work to be done.”

Cook also confirmed free agents James Perch and Ross Wallace have moved on after training with the club all summer and featuring in both of the previous friendlies.

“They’ve left the club, and we wish them well,” Cook said.

“We just keep going...I know where the questions are going here and I’m not going to go there!

“I don’t want to speak about that, I’d rather speak about the game.

“Obviously we are very disappointed, and we’ve got a big week ahead going into the Sheffield Wednesday game.”

Cook admits his search for a recognised left-back is a major priority, after Kal Naismith became the latest player to be tried in that position.

“We are struggling in the left-back position at the moment,” he acknowledged.

“Kal Naismith’s not a natural left-back at all, we know that, and Jordan - although he’s not had much of a pre-season - gives us another option.”

Cook is also keeping his fingers crossed that the foot injury which caused Dan Burn’s half-time substitution is not serious.