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Paul Cook issues new challenge to Wigan Athletic players

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

Paul Cook has challenged his Wigan Athletic players to channel the disappointment of their FA quarter-final defeat to Southampton into positive energy for the all-important promotion run-in.

Latics gave as good as they got for the vast majority of an enthralling clash at the DW Stadium.

But they paid a high price for failing to convert their dominance into goals, and had no answer when first Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and then, in stoppage-time, Cedric Soares scored for the Saints.

There’s not even time for Latics to lick their wounds, with a crucial league trip to Walsall coming up on Wednesday night.

And Cook wants his side to show they are deserving of plying their trade at a higher level on a more regular basis.

“I always think, with any achievement or disappointment, it’s important to let it set in,” acknowledged the Latics manager.

“Obviously with our lads there will be genuine disappointment, because a lot of people gave us a really big chance of winning this game.

“While we earned the right to be thought of like that, it’s gone now.

“We need to let it sink in, and pick ourselves up for Wednesday night at Walsall.

“We’ll come in on Monday and regroup, because I think that’s very important.

“But disappointment is huge in football, and it can drive you on.

“We’ve given a great account of ourselves against four Premier League teams now, and the Man City game will live long in the memory.

“But our race is run in the FA Cup for this year, and we switch our attention to the league and trying to win promotion.

“To be fair...we’ve got no choice but to do that!”