Cook confident of deadline-day delight

Will Grigg
Will Grigg
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Paul Cook insists he’s hopeful of holding on to all of Wigan Athletic’s prize assets ahead of Thursday night’s transfer deadline.

The Latics boss has been extremely active already this summer since arriving at the DW Stadium from Portsmouth.

But with just a matter of hours to go until the window slams shut, he is trying to stay as cool, calm and collected as possible.

“Nowadays, because of Sky Sports, everything’s cranked up now heading towards Thursday night,” he told the Wigan Post.

“You can see the countdown on the telly now, in the corner of the screen, and it’s getting closer.

“As far as we’re concerned, will we do any more business? I don’t know.

“That sometimes depends on who leaves the club.

“Actively, with all due respect, we’re being as active as we can possibly be to cover all sorts of possibilities.”

Cook insists he is ‘not welcoming any’ interest in Will Grigg, despite the striker being a peripheral figure so far in the league as he makes his way back to full fitness.

“Will hasn’t played football since March, and the team started the season very well with him coming off the bench,” Cook acknowledged.

“From our end, there’s been no conversations about anything else.

“There’s nothing to be discussed, we’re certainly not looking to move Will Grigg out of the club.

“We’re looking for Will Grigg to start games, and he’s been building his fitness up over a period.

“I’m of the opinion that fitness-wise Will’s good to go now, Ivan Toney’s come in and done smashing, and I enjoy competition for places.

“As far as I’m aware we’ve had no interest in Will Grigg, and certainly we’re not welcoming any.”

More likely to depart is midfielder Max Power, who was transfer-listed last month after expressing an interest to discuss any possible interest from a club in the Championship.

However, after returning to the first-team fold following a period of training with the club’s youngsters at Christopher Park, Cook says he’d have no problem working with Power – until January at least – if a move failed to materialise.

“Sometimes we all get caught up in the politics of the game, if you like,” Cook recognised.

“Max has been a smashing lad since I’ve been at the club, he really has.

“He’s a bright kid, he’s an energetic kid, he’s a happy-go-lucky kid to have around the place.

“Probably some of the advice he’s been given hasn’t been great – but I’m certainly not trying to criticise anyone in terms of that.

“We’ll see how the rest of the window goes for Max.

“But I’m not a manager who’s thinking: ‘That’s it’. I don’t work like that.

“You can’t close doors on people, and we’ll see how that one goes.

“Whatever the outcome is, I want Max to be happy.

“Maybe Max has looked at the way we’ve played in the first few games and thought: ‘Oh aye’ – like you would do.

“Let’s see where the window takes us with that one.”

Latics have been the busiest club on several deadline-days in recent years, with Warren Joyce bringing in an astonishing EIGHT new players during a frantic few hours in January.

However, only one of those signings – Josh Laurent – is still at the club, and Cook is not one for last-minute panic buying.

“I’ve never really agreed with managers doing things on deadline day – I’ve never been one for that,” he added.

“Certainly as a football club we’re very happy with the players we currently have in the building.

“As a manager, of course you’re always looking to add, in terms of depth of squad and strength of squad.

“But we’re certainly still looking to move some players out, that’s for sure.”

One January arrival, Jack Byrne, has joined Oldham on loan until January.

“It’s a great move for Jack,” Cook admitted. “I don’t like lads not being able to play football.

“One of the biggest problems I’ve found since I’ve come to Wigan is seeing the amount of players who are not playing football.

“I don’t think that’s healthy for us as a club or the players themselves.”