Cook: Latics will never ‘park the bus’ on my watch

Paul Cook
Paul Cook
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Paul Cook says Wigan Athletic ‘will never park the bus’ under his stewardship after watching his side draw a blank at home for the second time in three days.

Charlton emulated Boxing Day visitors Shrewsbury in escaping with the goalless draw they clearly would have taken before the game.

Latics goalkeeper Christian Walton again had literally nothing to do, keeping a clean sheet for the fifth match in a row, during which time he’s not had to make a single save.

Unfortunately, Latics couldn’t get the job done at the other end, with captain Sam Morsy hitting the inside of a post in stoppage-time - leaving Cook in reflective mood.

“With the greatest respect, Christian hasn’t made a save again,” mused the Latics boss.

“But the emphasis...and we’re seeing it a lot in the modern game...and we’ll never do it, I don’t care who we play, we’ll never park the bus.

“While I’m manager of this club, I don’t care who we play, at home or away, we won’t do it.

“But if that’s what other teams do, you have to respect that.

“And it becomes our obligation to break them down.

“That’s the way football is at the moment, and unfortunately we couldn’t break them down on the night.”

The result means Latics extend their lead at the top of League One to five points ahead of the Saturday programme - something Cook is more than content with.

“We’re still sitting in a good place, though, and everybody would like to be where we are,” he acknowledged.

“We just keep going, we keep working hard, and your habits will get you home in this league.

“It was only a week ago we won 7-0 (at Oxford) - and we could have scored loads more.

“We’ve not scored in two games, but I’m still very proud of my players.

“They’ve given me everything again - their willingness to win the game was huge.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t break them down, and when the ball hits the inside of the post at the end, you know it’s not your night.

“I could make a million excuses about why we didn’t do this or that, and I’m not a manager who’ll do that.

“You have to set a tempo about your play, and I thought at times our tempo wasn’t great.

“But I have to say these lads have been brilliant for us this season, absolutely superb.

“They’re allowed a little bit of this every now and then.

“It’s important on nights like this that you don’t concede, you don’t get beat, and you don’t offer yourself up in your willingness to win the game.

“They were very happy to sit very deep, off us, and we all know how to beat them then.

“It’s about getting the ball forward quicker, and I think that’s a bit alien to a few of our boys.”