Cook’s left-back conundrum

Paul Cook
Paul Cook
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Paul Cook admits the battle for the Wigan Athletic left-back berth is his biggest selection issue at present.

Callum Elder started the season in the side following his arrival from Leicester, with Reece James not having played a competitive game for 18 months because of injury.

But a red card for Elder on debut at MK Dons – and three-match ban – saw fit-again James stake his claim with nine successive appearances.

Wary of pushing James too much too soon, Cook rested James at the weekend against Walsall, and the Australian was superb down the left-hand side in both attack and defence – giving the gaffer a problem ahead of this weekend’s trip to Scunthorpe.

“Reece’s had an outstanding number of games, but had a couple of knocks,” said Cook. “And we thought it was s good opportunity for Callum.

“The important thing with things like this is the lads buy into it, and the y’ve done that.

“In the dressing room after the game, the mood was excellent – and that’s the lads who weren’t in the team as well as the ones that were.”