Cook scours free-agent market to add to his group

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

Paul Cook insists any success Wigan Athletic enjoy this season will be won as a squad rather than a team.

Latics bounced back from last weekend’s defeat at Shrewsbury with a fine 3-0 win at Charlton in midweek.

It was a first clean sheet for Jamie Jones – standing-in for injured No.1 Christian Walton – with defender Alex Bruce also shining on his second start.

Saturday’s visit of Bristol Rovers sees Chey Dunkley completing a three-match ban – the Checkatrade Trophy clash against Blackpool didn’t count as a game – but boss Cook is relishing the selection problem ahead.

“In general we we’ve been very pleased with the new lads,” acknowledged Cook.

“If you go back a couple of weeks, you wouldn’t have envisaged either of those lads playing.

“But this is what the season is all about, and everyone will have disappointments, and hiccups.

“For us to get success, we must do it with the group of people as a whole.

“There’s no one individual player who will bring success to the group.”

With Walton, Craig Morgan and Shaun MacDonald on the long-term casualty list, Cook is keeping his eyes and ears open in the free-agent market.

“I’m always looking, we’re always looking,” Cook revealed.

“If there’s something out there we felt would benefit our squad, we’d do it.

“We probably fell short on deadline day, with one or two we wanted to come in.

“That’s life, and I was dead pleased with our ‘outs’.

“Unfortunately we never got the extra one or two in we wanted.

“But I’ve never been one for bringing in players for the sake of it.

“If I’m going to be a good Wigan manager, I’m going to be so over a period of time.

“If you make bad decisions on signings, that can influence your time at a club.”

Ex-England internationals Joleon Lescott and Rickie Lambert, both 35, have been mooted as possible targets after being released by Sunderland and Cardiff respectively.