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Cook defends decision to ring changes after defeat

Max Power in action at Villa Park
Max Power in action at Villa Park

Paul Cook defended his decision to make 11 changes for the 4-1 defeat at Aston Villa after admitting that promotion from League One is more important.

The boss completely changed his line-up for the Carabao Cup second round clash but it made life difficult for his troops who couldn’t contain the Championship outfit.

Goals from Scott Hogan (two), Albert Adomah and Birkir Bjarnason helped Villa to victory while Ryan Colclough converted a consolation.

Cook said that his side’s defending was naive but is hoping they can bounce back when League One action resumes against Portsmouth this weekend.

He said: “I have no regrets all. As a manager you make those decisions backed by your club.

“Coming to Aston Villa it is always going to be a difficult night no matter what team you put out.

“Certainly the league for us is a priority and every club, in my opinion, is entitled to prioritise what they think is right so as a club we speak about it and make those decisions.

“In my opinion is a well thought-out decision.”

Cook felt that Villa deserved their win but still cut a frustrated figure as he reflected on the goals his side conceded.

“I think it was an emphatic win for Aston Villa,” he added.

“They played really well on the night but were very naive with the goals weren’t we? Especially to get back in the game with a good goal right on half-time.

“To then concede the third probably ended the game as a contest. It probably knocked the wind out of us.”

Wigan never gave up, though, and tried to push for goals towards the end despite knowing that the contest was over.

“In the second-half we stuck at it and I thought the lads were honest with the play,” Cook added. “I thought they gave us everything they have got and as a manager that is all you can ask for.

“Credit to Aston Villa and we wish them the best in the next round and we move on.”