Wigan Athletic boss '˜can't remember feeling as bad as that' after Birmingham City defeat
Paul Cook admitted the feeling after watching his Wigan Athletic side crash 3-0 at home to Birmingham City was as bad as any he's experienced in his 18 months at the DW.
Despite starting brightly, Latics fell behind to a well-worked goal from Che Adams - and Birmingham never looked back.
Shabby marking allowed unmarked Blues skipper Michael Morrison to double the advantage on the stroke of half-time.
And Jacques Maghoma made it 3-0 from close range just after the hour mark.
The result means Latics have reached the halfway point of the campaign with 25 points to their name - with a six-point buffer to the drop zone.
But it wasn’t the way Cook or Latics wanted to sign off for Christmas.
“The fact is we’ve had 18 great months here, it’s been such a fantastic ride with so many highs,” acknowledged Cook.
“I can’t remember too many times I’ve been in that tunnel after a game feeling the way I did today.
“But that’s part of the game we’re in.
“In football these days there’s such a clamour for change.
“If I as a manager want to go further in the game, it’s up to me to prove I can come up with the answers.
“Coming out after a game spouting a load of nonsense won’t get me there - and I do feel like doing that!
“Unfortunately we’re just not getting the rub of the green at both ends of the park, but we won’t make excuses.
“Nobody hands you anything in this division, and it’s up to us to work out a way of turning things round.”
The visitors grew in confidence the longer the game progressed, and the ‘Ole’ cries from a capacity away end were out way before the end.
That said, Cook was quick to point out that Christian Walton didn’t have anything to do apart from pick the ball out of his net three times.
“It’s where we’re at, in a tough league, underlined by what happened today,” Cook said.
“We were up against a tough team, very well organised, physically strong, hard to break down and full of good players.
“For us, it just underlined the kind of run we’re on at the moment.
“Someone’s just told me Birmingham have had three attempts on target, and they’ve ended up with three goals.
“It’s going like that at the moment, and it’s up to me and the players to go away and sort it out.
“We won’t be making rash excuses, we’ll be working hard to find a way.
“We’re actually starting games really well, and we are looking a threat - but we’ve got to score.
“We’re starting to become a little bit suspect in both boxes, and it has to change.
“I’m not a manager who will come out here and criticise my players.
“I have never done that and I never will, we’ll keep that in-house.”
It could have been so different had referee Ross Joyce awarded Latics a penalty just after Birmingham’s opening goal, when Cedric Kipre appeared to be tripped in the box.
“I’m not getting involved mate, and that’s the truth,” was Cook’s assessment.
“Football is full of big decisions, and you want those decisions to be right.”