Paul Cook says the last thing he wants to do is leave his role as Wigan Athletic boss – as he explained his post-QPR comments came from a place of “pain”

Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook
Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook

Paul Cook says the last thing he wants to do is leave his role as Wigan Athletic boss – as he explained his post-QPR comments came from a place of “pain” after an unacceptable performance from his men.

The Latics boss gave a short press conference after the 3-1 defeat in the capital.

It was Wigan’s fifth straight defeat in a row and after the match the Latics boss told the press: “If the results stay the same, someone else will be speaking to you.”

When asked about those comments Cook explained that he was hurting after watching a performance he deemed unacceptable.

But he stressed there is no pressure on him as a manager and that an exit is something nobody is thinking about as his side aim to end that losing streak against Barnsley today.

He answered in a jovial tone: “Did I say that? I can’t remember that! I must have been an emotional wreck after QPR then!”

Cook then turned more serious: “I think one of the problems you get with football today is the knee jerk reaction that you will always get.

“I think Wigan supporters in general will be pleased to know how much it hurts us all.

“I think if it did not hurt us all that much it would... my comments probably regarding that was where I was in a lot of pain.

“A lot of fans had travelled down that far to watch us play like that and for me not just as a manager but as a supporter that was not acceptable.

“I’ve got to say and I don’t mind saying it on record that the amount of times I have felt that has been very few as Wigan manager.

“I think notably that was one of very few performances we have had like that.

“I think what I meant more than anything is that if performances were to stay like that then the likelihood is there maybe another manager in place.

“That is the last thing I want. That is the last thing I’d like to think to think the players want! It is certainly not something that anyone at this football club is thinking about.”

Cook took over in 2017 after the Latics found themselves relegated to League One.

He guided them back to the Championship and now as they find themselves five games in to their second campaign in the second tier under Cook they have just one win.

But for Cook this is not his toughest time in the role.

He said: “I would not suggest so. It is quite funny football the way it is today.

“We are five games in, we have won one and lost four in the league. I think the league, and I’m not going to get involved with how tough it is.

“I think all our supporters are bored with that. I think establishing ourselves as a club in this division is what we all want.

“If you look at Wigan’s time and tenure over the last four times we have been in the Championship I think everyone can work out what happens to managers and what happens to results.

“That is football in the Championship. What will be, will be.”

Cook was not in the mood for talking in his pre-match presser but it does not appear like there will be good news on the injury front.

Kieffer Moore, Anthony Pilkington, Josh Windass and Joe Gelhardt are all doubts but there might be more on Saturday.

Asked how this week had been, he replied: “Not great. It never is when you lose games of football.

“It can be the loneliest place in the world, the journeys home, the supporters that travel we understand how disappointed they are.

“Naturally for a manager it can be a tough time the 20 minutes after when you are asked to speak and explain the reasons why we got beat.

“It can be tough. We’ve had a really strong training week.

“We’ve had a couple of injuries we did not really expect or want. Apart from that we are looking forward to the game back at home.”

He added: “I think we will keep our team stuff to ourselves. Barnsley will be in a similar position, they have a couple of injuries. The teams will be what they will be.”

But one thing Cook is keen to see is an improved performance.

He said: “We are looking for a better performance.

“At Middlesbrough I thought we were fine but our two performances at Preston and QPR – no, no, no.

“The Leeds one is fine because we had a lad sent off after 20 minutes. I think we got all the plaudits in the world after Cardiff. We are looking for that, searching for that consistency.

“With our home form being strong, a win on Saturday over Barnsley if it is possible will be great for everyone.”

Cedric Kipre gave Wigan the perfect start at QPR as he ended a four game goal drought by scoring his first goal.

Cook was delighted to see him score but now wants to see the talking on the pitch.

He said: “I was delighted.

“We had not scored for four games so I was delighted to see any attacks, positivity and anything! Sometimes when you are in positions that you can be in any type of light at the end of a game, a tunnel, whatever you want to call it, we are looking for strong performances.

“I felt the performance at Middlesbrough was good, albeit we lost 1-0.

“I felt the total opposite of what I felt at Middlesbrough at QPR.

“In relation to whatever I can tell our supporters.

“It is only at 5pm that we will see the reaction that we want.”