Hull boss Nigel Adkins has backed his old mate Paul Cook to continue his managerial success story after coming off second best on his return to Wigan Athletic in midweek.
Latics bounced back to winning ways with a deserved 2-1 victory over the Tigers to move up to seventh place in the Championship table ahead of Wednesday night’s action.
And Adkins – a former team-mate of Cook during the Springfield Park years – is full of admiration for the work being done at the DW.
“Cookie’s done a great job here, and they showed what a good side they are,” Adkins told the Wigan Post.
“We thought we could get at them a little bit, but they play that box in midfield, that rotation, the wide players come in off the line.
“Nick Powell’s obviously a big threat, they get bodies in and around him for knockdowns, and they pass the ball about very well.
“The full-backs get forward well and get the ball in the box, and they caused us a lot of problems.”
Softly-spoken Adkins admits the experience of sharing a technical area with Cook – who has been known for wearing his heart on his sleeve – was an interesting one.
“Cookie’s brilliant – except he never shuts up!” Adkins laughed.
“I like to think I’m passionate about what I do, and I am, but he is so passionate.
“He’s also a good guy, who’s done a great job everywhere he’s been, and he wants to win.
“I really wish him well, because he’s going to have a good career in management.
“It doesn’t seem 30 years since we were kids coming through the ranks together here...that’s a long time ago!
“You’d never have said back then we’d both have been managers here but that’s football.”