Promotion party won't haunt us - Wigan Athletic boss
Paul Cook has defended the decision to allow his Wigan Athletic to let their hair down last weekend after securing promotion from League One.
Social media was awash last Saturday with fabulous scenes of players and staff mixing with fans in the town centre to mark the achievement of a top-two finish.
However, the below-par display which followed three days later at Bristol Rovers had some fans questioning why the celebrations couldn’t have waited.
Unfairly so, in Cook’s view.
“We’ve worked very hard all season to get up into the Championship,” insisted the Latics boss.
“And Saturday was one of those days where everything going right for you.
“To hear people say ‘you must stay focused’ or ‘you must stay professional’...there must be an element in there somewhere of fun, and smiling, and releasing what you’ve worked so hard for.
“Saturday, for us all – including the chairman, Mr Whelan, the supporters, the walkers for Joseph’s Goal – was a chance to celebrate our football club, and just go...(unleashes huge sigh).
“At no stage at all will that night out come back to haunt us whatsoever.
“I’d do that again tomorrow...even if we had a game on the Tuesday. I’d have no problems with that.
“After being on such a strict programme all year, to have achieved the first target – automatic promotion – I don’t have any problems with wanting to enjoy that.
“If we won this weekend and managed to get a draw at Doncaster, we’d move on to 98 points – and that still might not be enough!
“If anyone thinks only drawing at Bristol Rovers would have cost us the league, they are misguided.
“To have a record like this has meant so many sacrifices, that many Sunday mornings in to training, which a lot of people don’t see.
“One night out after securing promotion is not going to ruin our chances of winning the title.”