Cook ‘pedigree’ is a recipe for success

Michael Jacobs
Michael Jacobs

Paul Cook’s drive to work at higher level – and ‘proven track record’ – is propelling Wigan Athletic towards an instant return to the Championship.

That’s the verdict of chief executive Jonathan Jackson, who says Cook’s first few months in the job has fully vindicated all the hard work over the summer to lure him ‘home’ from Portsmouth.

“We’re doing okay, we’re doing okay,” acknowledged Jackson. “We went into the season having not spent a penny in the transfer market, but having brought in a new manager with a proven track record at this level.

“Paul knows this division, and he aspires to work at a higher level – which we all do.

“He’s certainly made an excellent start to his career at Wigan Athletic, and the players have responded.

“There’s a real momentum here, a real togetherness, and a desire to perhaps reverse some of the misfortune we suffered last year.”

While not spending a penny in the market, Cook has utilised the loan market

well, as well as pulling off some impressive free-transfer deals.

He has also moved swiftly to tie up key men Michael Jacobs and Will Grigg to new contracts, which Jackson says is a ‘real statement’ in the post-parachute payment era.

“Future success is very important to us, and the owners of Wigan Athletic,” added Jackson.

“Keeping Will and Michael was a statement from us.

“We have to operate the football club for the future and you need good players, at all times, to be able to do that.

“We wanted to make sure that Will and Michael, if they wanted to stay – which clearly they did – could extend their contracts.

“That keeps them here for at least the next couple of years, and that’s good news for the fans, because we know they can create and score goals both at this level and in the Championship.”

Jacobs is hoping to return from a three-week absence when Latics return to League One action this weekend with the visit of high-flying Bradford to the DW.

The 26-year-old has been nursing a thigh problem for the last month and a half, but is hoping a period of rest and recuperation will allow him to reach his early-season form.

Meanwhile, season-card holders have until 5pm on Wednesday to register their interest in a ticket for the FA Cup second-round clash at Fylde on December 1.

For those who miss out in the ballot, the game will be televised on BBC2, kick-off 7.55pm.