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Wigan Athletic chairman David Sharpe’s hopes for club’s future under Paul Cook

David Sharpe hopes Paul Cook’s decision to commit his long-term future to Wigan Athletic will help to persuade the club’s star names to remain at the DW Stadium.

Latics swept all before them on their way to the League One title, regaining their place in the Championship at the first attempt.

David Sharpe, Paul Cook and Dave Whelan

David Sharpe, Paul Cook and Dave Whelan

As well as showcasing the quality of the players, Wigan’s promotion campaign also 
provided a platform for Cook to underline his magic touch.

Having secured a third league title in the space of five years - with three different clubs - Cook’s reward was a bumper new four-year deal from Sharpe.

And the Latics chairman is hoping that statement of intent will filter through to a dressing room full of in-demand stars.

“The key now is to keep our top players,” Sharpe told the Wigan Post.

“Nick Powell, Will Grigg, Nathan Byrne, Sam Morsy, Chey Dunkley, Max Power, Michael Jacobs, Dan Burn...I could go on and on.

“That could be the difference between an okay season and a very good season.

“If we can keep those players - as well as Paul Cook - I think we’ve a hell of a chance of having a good season.

“What that season might look like, we don’t know, because we don’t like to make predictions.

“We’ve just got to make sure we are competitive in the Championship, and then go from there.”

Sharpe has also confirmed his intention to bring in squad reinforcements this summer, which will be even more hectic than usual.

“You can’t stand still in this game,” added the Latics chairman.

“And we need to be ready even earlier than usual, because the transfer window shuts when the season starts in early August.”

Sharpe is confident of making a bigger splash in the second tier than two years ago, when Latics suffered an immediate return to League One after a car-crash campaign.

However, in the meantime, he’s content to bask in the glory of this season for a little while longer.

“I’ve only been in my role for three full seasons, and I’ve been lucky enough to have two promotions now and two league titles,” he added.

“That’s why you’re in football.

“As far as supporters are concerned, a trophy’s a trophy - regardless of which division you’re in.

“Those are the days you remember, the days you’ve got photos of at home, and you look back on for the rest of your life.”