First ‘block’ on the road to recovery, insists Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook

Kal Naismith
Kal Naismith

Paul Cook admitted the goalless draw against Reading was all about going ‘back to basics’ for Wigan Athletic after their wretched recent run.

Latics stopped the rot after four defeats on the spin, and on another day might have had all three points having created the better chances.

But rather than reflect on two points that got away, Cook believes it is the first ‘building block’ on the road to recovery.

“After the recent run of defeats, it is nice to get a point,” said Cook.

“We’ve managed to put down a marker, we’ve stopped the rot, and it’s now a case of whether we can build from here.

“In recent weeks we’ve been giving individual errors away, but today we never.

“It was a clean sheet, a good clean sheet,a comfortable clean sheet.

“A clean sheet is the first marker down for any team, and we’ll see where we can go on from here.

“Our lads can defend well when they are challenged.

“Sometimes when you get involved with trying to be good going the other way, you can forget your habits.

“For us, it’s very much about going back to basics and trying to build some blocks that can see us retain our status as a Championship side.”

Nick Powell rightly saw a goal disallowed for offside, with Josh Windass and Nathan Byrne among those to squander decent opportunities.

“I thought we had the better of the chances, albeit Reading had more of the ball at times,” Cook acknowledged.

“We had a couple of great opportunities to win the game, which we haven’t taken.

“For all their possession, clearly we had the better chances, so our penetration was a lot better than theirs.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t put those chances away, and that comes from confidence in personnel.

“That will come in time for sure.”

Cook’s decision to field midfielder Kal Naismith as an emergency left-back in the absence of the injured Antonee Robinson was fully vindicated, with the Scot impressing at both ends of the field.

“We didn’t really have a lot of options if truth be known,” added Cook.

“We could have moved one or two about, but I always think it’s better to make one change rather than two or three to accommodate one injury.

“Kal did well and his block at the end was superb.”