'˜We'll take battling point, admits Wigan Athletic boss

Paul Cook insisted he was happy with a point at troubled Bolton that '˜stopped the rot' on the road for Wigan Athletic.

Sunday, 2nd December 2018, 1:48 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd December 2018, 8:10 pm
Sam Morsy gets stuck in against Bolton

Latics avoided an away defeat for only the second time this season in all competitions at the University of Bolton Stadium.

The visitors had to overcome the setback of going behind to Will Buckley’s seventh-minute goal to level through a Will Grigg penalty on 25 minutes.

And although both sides had chances to win it, Cook was happy to extend the unbeaten run to three matches with a point against Phil Parkinson’s side.

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“We’re pleased with a point,” he acknowledged.

“It was always going to be a difficult game, given Bolton were under certain pressures that go on outside of football.

“I thought both sets of supporters got behind their sides correctly and well, and Phil will be pleased with the way his side played.

“We’ve come away from home, and we’ve stopped a bit of a rot.

“We’ve been disappointed with our away results, we’ve cut out the individual errors, and ordinarily you’d be going away from the ground quite happy.

“Unfortunately today...could we have converted one or two of the good chances we’ve created...probably yes.

“But at least we take away a point, and we’ll take that.”

Despite starting brightly, Latics fell behind to Bolton’s first real attack, which Cook says was another test of his side’s resolve.

“This is such a tough league - for the players and also the management, and let’s remember it’s the first time we’ve been at this level,” he said.

“It’s a massive learning curve, and we have to come through this.

“The biggest compliment I can pay my players is going behind never affected them, and that was really important.

“At times I thought we looked capable of taking control of the game, without really doing it.

“And I think that’s also great credit to Bolton and the way they played.

“We tried to push forward and win the game in the second half.

“But you’ve also got to remember the games at Norwich, Aston Villa...when we’ve had something in our grasp and it’s been taken away late.

“When it got to that stage today, we were happy with a point, and points are gold in this division - they really are.”

Bolton weren’t happy with referee Simon Hooper, who gave Latics a penalty in the first half before ignoring a strong Wanderers claim in the closing stages.

“I know their bench weren’t happy with the penalty decision for us,” added Cook.

“But I also thought the first challenge in the game could also have been a red card for them.

“I really didn’t see the alleged handball at the end...but I have to say I was on the floor praying at the time that it wouldn’t be given.

“People know me, I’m not one of these managers who say I’ve not seen things when I have.

“For me, I thought the referee did a decent enough job.”