Wigan Athletic boss 'disappointed and hurt' after latest defeat

George Puscas equalises for Reading
George Puscas equalises for Reading

"It wasn't the end to the game we wanted, that's for sure."

The thoughts of Paul Cook, who saw three precious points ripped away from his Wigan Athletic side in a five-minute spell late on against Reading.

Joe Garner's first goal of the season 11 minutes before the break had given Latics the advantage heading into the final quarter.

But a sensational hat-trick from Reading striker George Puscas in the space of just five minutes turned the game on its head.

And a section of the home support once more vented their anger, with chants of 'you're getting sacked in the morning' echoing round the DW Stadium.

Cook again vowed to fight on, but this latest setback will take some getting over.

"It wasn't the end to the game we wanted, that's for sure," acknowledged the Latics manager.

"And it's probably not the end to the game probably anyone watching the game would have envisaged.

"To say we're disappointed would be an understatement, but it's the brutal reality of life in this division.

"Again we're on the receiving end of it, and to say it hurts would be an understatement."

The game changed with the 78th-minute awarding of a penalty to Reading by referee Jeremy Simpson.

There was even confusion as to whether it was for a foul or handball, with the official confirming after the game it had been for handball against Chey Dunkley.

Despite the sense of injustice, Cook - who was again cautioned by the official for dissent during the game - refused to take his protests further.

"With all due respect, I'm not getting involved in criticising the referee," he added.

"As a manager, sometimes the easiest thing to do is and say things you're feeling, but which will get you into trouble.

"I'm certainly not getting involved in that.

"What I will say is, in football, and certainly teams like ours, confidence is hard to find.

"When you're on the kind of bad run we are, key moments can't half influence games.

"And unfortunately again today, we've had massive key moments that have gone against us.

"We all know how brutal an industry this is, but I ask myself as a manager: Could I get any more out of those players.

"I'm genuinely comfortable with my players, their work ethic, their desire.

"I've no problems with my players, none whatsoever."