Paul Cook has called on a section of the Wigan Athletic fanbase to eradicate the ‘negativity’ he felt was in the air during Saturday’s home defeat to Bradford City.
A stoppage-time strike from Tyrell Robinson handed Latics their first loss in the league at the DW Stadium for eight months, after Chey Dunkley had equalised Charlie Wyke’s opener for the Bantams.
And while admitting his men were second best for the majority of an absorbing encounter, Cook says they weren’t helped by some moaning and groaning from the stands.
“What supporters do – and rightly so – is they watch a game and they voice an opinion,” he told the Wigan Post.
“But more and more in the modern game, those opinions are based on a game-by-game basis. In my opinion, that is not how to manage it.
“All of a sudden our crowd were a little bit niggly towards one or two of the players – and that’s not the way. That’s a job for me and the club to do.
“Getting after your own players will never, ever work.
“It will only result in negativity spreading round.
“My job as ever is to protect the group and, who knows, in January I might look to change one or two things.
“But our lads have done great so far. We’re still second in the league, so let’s all stay nice and positive.”
Cook also defended his decision to leave Will Grigg on the bench until the last few seconds, despite Ivan Toney struggling to make an impression up top on his own.
“I would have taken a point near the end – without a shadow of a doubt,” revealed Cook.
“We had Ryan Colclough, who we could have brought on, and Will Grigg, who we could have brought on.
“They would have been the options to try and win the game.
“But in pursuit of trying to win the game, you might end up losing the game.
“We’re not like that. We’re a very attacking team, but I thought Bradford were the better side on the day and they deserved to win.”
Latics at least have an immediate chance to put things right, with Tuesday night’s visit of Doncaster.
However, Cook faces an anxious wait to learn whether star man Nick Powell
will be fit to feature, having limped off before the half-hour mark on Saturday.
“It looks like it’s Nick’s
hamstring, so we’ll have to wait and see on that,” reported Cook.
“Nick had trained all week, he’d been fine, we’d not had a game for a fortnight.
“It could be the weather, but because Nick Powell’s Nick Powell - there’s always a story there.
“We’d rather accept we’ve been beaten by a better side and come back stronger.”