We'll attack like that all season, promises Wigan Athletic boss
Paul Cook says the way Wigan Athletic went all guns blazing at Sheffield Wednesday will be the blueprint for the way they attack the Championship this term.
Latics enjoyed a 3-2 win on opening day against the Owls, thanks to a brace from Michael Jacobs and what proved to be the winner from Nick Powell.
Cook had revealed in his pre-game press conference that Latics would throw everything at their opponents this term rather than try to defend and hunt narrow wins - even if it meant them coming unstuck on occasion.
But he says the way they pushed forward in the final third despite leading 3-2 - with James Vaughan hitting the bar and seeing another effort disallowed for offside - is what fans can expect to see all year.
“Like I was saying to the staff on the bench...and everyone can see the way we play...you can always take something off yourself to make yourself stronger,” the Latics boss admitted.
“By that, I mean taking a flair player off and putting a more defensive player on.
“But by doing that, you will invite pressure from the opposition.
“If you see that game out, it’s tactically great.
“If you do not see that game out, it’s not tactically great.
“I’ve always been a great believer that when teams are coming at you strong, you can score again.
“And I felt there were plenty of chances in that final quarter for us to score again.
“I’ll stick to my beliefs...it’ll go wrong for me sometimes, which I don’t have a problem with, but that’s football.”
For Cook, a serial achiever in the lower leagues, it was the perfect way to mark his first game as a manager in the second tier.
“When you’ve never managed at a level you’ll always have certain things in your head,” he acknowledged.
“I’ve got certain values about how the game should be played, and the game then comes down to your players.
“The calibre of your players will always win you football matches, and we never left anything on the pitch.
“If Sheffield Wednesday were to go home with anything they were going to have to work so hard to do that.
“It was proper bodies on the line stuff at the end, but that’s got to be what we’ve got to be about.
“When you step up a level - and a lot of your players have been deemed, by some, to be not good enough for that level - you’ve got something to prove.
“We weren’t great in pre-season - I’m sure the train journey home from Rangers last weekend was all about what we need rather than what we have got!
“But that’s football these days...people over-react very quickly.
“I just hope everyone connected with the club - players, management, staff, fans - enjoy this one, and come in next week looking to work even harder for the next one.
“It was just a great advert for football wasn’t it?.
“It had everything you’d want when you go to a football match...goals, entertainment, hitting the woodwork, goals disallowed...
“To play a side as strong at this level as Sheffield Wednesday, with the support they brought, I thought our lads handled the occasion so well.
“It was a very strong team performance and, in my opinion, a very deserved win.”