Paul Cook is the man to lift Wigan Athletic out of their current dip and see them ‘back up and running’.
That’s the view of Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder, whose side’s 3-0 victory at the DW Stadium on New Year’s Day means Latics have now won only once in their last 13 outings.
Despite that wretched run of results – which has seen Latics drop to within four points of the Championship drop zone – Wilder says circumstances are to blame rather than a lack of quality in the playing squad or management team.
And he’s backed his old pal to show what he’s made of in the coming weeks and keep Latics out of the relegation dogfight.
“I’ve got an awful lot of time for Paul, we go back a long way together,” enthused Wilder.
“He’s a proper football man, and you don’t get the achievements wherever he’s been - at Chesterfield, Portsmouth and now Wigan - without being very good at your job.
“This was probably a good time to play them, with the way it’s been going for them.
“There’ve got a few injuries at the moment...Dan Burn’s gone to Brighton, they’ve currently no left-back, Kal Naismith’s been filling in there.
“We had a spell like this ourselves last season, and we know how difficult it can be.
“But when they get all their best players back fit again, and get a win under their belts, they’ll be back up and running.You look at the back of the programmme and they’ve got
so many really good players - and an outstanding manager who gets the maximum out of that.”