Paul Cook believes his Wigan Athletic players have to ‘take responsibility’ for the trouble they find themselves in – and show what they’re made of this weekend against Bolton Wanderers.
The term ‘six-pointer’ barely does justice to Saturday’s clash at the DW, with both sides desperate for the points to kick away from the mire.
While the Wanderers have been down there for much of the campaign, a dismal run of three wins from the last 25 matches has seen Latics gradually slip down the table from the heady heights of third place at the end of September.
And Cook says the time for action is long overdue.
“Players have to take responsibility, and managers do as well,” he said.
“We all know what football brings these days – that’s the nature of the game.
“If we win on Saturday, the world will look a completely different place than it does at the moment.”
The 3-0 midweek defeat at Blackburn was as disappointing for the fact Rovers were so utterly out of form themselves, as Wigan’s own woeful display.
It was the latest in a long line of failures for Latics to grab floating life-rafts.
“The disappointing thing is we’ve had so many opportunities this year to drag ourselves away from what we’re in now,” Cook mused.
“And now we are deep within it.
“We’ve had so many chances to do so...you look at Ipswich for starters.
“We then beat Aston Villa 3-0 then we lose again...it’s just us at the minute.
“We have an idleness about us that thinks everything’s going to be okay – and football’s not like that.
“You’ve got to grasp it and you’ve got to take it...and at the minute we’re not.
“People must feel pain about this situation.
“You’re always asking the same things: Have we done enough? Have we prepared enough? Have we worked hard enough? Have we given everything we’ve got?
“We have to turn up on Saturday. We cannot come up with another game like that.
“Unfortunately after Blackburn, you couldn’t pick a team for Saturday.
“But by the time Friday and Saturday comes, we must have the belief and the strength to win a big game.”