Latics are proving ‘difficult to manage’, admits Cook

Paul Cook (right), with Peterborough legend Barry Fry
Paul Cook (right), with Peterborough legend Barry Fry
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Paul Cook admitted his Wigan Athletic side are proving ‘difficult to manage’ after showing their huge strengths - and also biggest weaknesses - during Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Peterborough.

Latics totally bossed the first 45 minutes at the Abax Stadium, but had only a solitary Michael Jacobs goal to show for their efforts.

They were back to square one when Junior Morias levelled the scores within two minutes of the restart and, after a dominant spell of their own, it was no surprise when Morias added his second goal with six minutes to go.

It looked as though Latics had rescued a point when Ryan Colclough equalised within two minutes, but Jack Marriott popped up with a dramatic winner right at the death to send the visitors home with nothing.

“To the neutral it’s an exciting game, it’s got everything,” acknowledged Cook.

“For me, as Wigan manager, I’m so pleased with our first-half performance.

“Away from home, we’ve controlled the game, created a ridiculous amount of chances, and only gone in 1-0 up at half-time.

“I’m still learning about our players, and our lads are quite difficult to manage at times.

“We have a little bit of arrogance about us - which can be good, but it also can be not good.

“Here we’ve seen the flip side of it, when we don’t put our chances away, we can and did get hurt.

“A point at the end would still have been okay, we’d have shaken hands on that and moved on.

“But unfortunately we’ve not even ended up with that.”

The defeat was only Wigan’s second in the league this term, and the scenes of euphoria at the end - with the Posh players doing a lap of honour - showed how much it meant to them.

“It was a good game, and you can understand Peterborough celebrating the way they did,” recognised the Latics boss.

“Peterborough deserve all the credit in the world - they put a lot of men forward, they played with no fear.

“It’s a great win for them, because in the first half it looked as though it was going to be one-sided.

“That’s football - that’s what it’s all about.

“We’ve got to be able to manage that.

“I just felt at half-time there was something in the air, that we thought the second half was going to be easy.

“Football’s not like that, and unfortunately we got lulled into a false sense of security.

“Before you know it. we’re on the bus going home, having got beat.”

The three goals Latics conceded in the second half was as many as they’d conceding in the previous eight-and-a-half games this term - a fact which wasn’t lost on Cook.

“We lost control of the game in that second half,” he mused.

“There’s different ways to defend in this game, but the best way is to controlling the ball.

“That’s something we did very well in the first half, but we didn’t do at all in the second half.

“It became end-to-end in that second half, and we’re not good in that situation.

“We’re far more at home when we’re controlling the game.

“And it’s hard to regain control in the middle of a game - you get engulfed in it.”