Familiarity won’t breed contempt for Cook

Paul Cook
Paul Cook
Share this article

Paul Cook admits the biggest part of his job as Wigan Athletic boss is keeping the players who aren’t featuring happy.

The Latics chief is not a fan of rotation, choosing instead to stick as close to his first-choice line-up as possible.

And while that’s good news for those in possession of shirts, it’s less so for those on the outside looking in.

Those include Max Power, whose outstanding recent form off the bench hasn’t been enough to see him break into the first XI.

“The lads off the bench have been doing well, Ivan Toney and Max Power for example,” Cook revealed.

“And the most important job for me as a manager at the moment is keeping the lads who aren’t playing happy. It’s easy for players who are playing every week to be happy.

“For the other lads it’s not been as easy, but they’ve been a credit to themselves.

“The lads are very honest here, and we’ll keep working hard.”

There’s no rest for Latics, who are back in action tomorrow night against a Charlton side that has slipped out of the play-off picture in recent weeks, but will be hoping to use this game to kickstart their promotion push.

And despite Latics winning the corresponding fixture 3-0 in London back in September, Cook will not be taking Karl Robinson’s men lightly.

“We’ll show Charlton maximum respect,” he recognised.

“They’re not on the best run in the world, but they’ve had a lot of injuries.

“Karl’s probably distraught with the number of injuries they’ve had to their big players – and that can happen.

“Any team in football could go three or four games without a win.

“If we were to go three or four games without a win, we’d find ourselves in the play-offs.

“I’m not stupid, it can happen to any team. You can have men sent off, pick up injuries, lose form.

“All we can do is stay focused and keep doing what we’re doing.

“If you get ahead of yourself, you’ll find yourself in a bad place.”