Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook has high hopes for Darron Gibson
Paul Cook is confident the decision to take a chance on controversial capture Darron Gibson will pay off big time for Wigan Athletic.
The 30-year-old, who was released by Sunderland at the end of last term following a second drink-driving charge in the space of three years, made his debut against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, less than 24 hours after penning a 'short-term' deal at the DW.
And the standing ovation that followed his substitution at the 70-minute mark of the 3-2 victory over Sheffield Wednesday fully vindicated Cook's decision to bring him on board.
"Darron's got a history before him, but like everyone in the world I think he's entitled to a second chance," said the Latics boss.
"There's not too many people in this world who haven't made a mistake, we all know that.
"For Darron, it's about the future, and his relationship with this club and its fans can only grow."
On the decision to start Gibson ahead of Max Power, Cook added: "It wasn't really a big decision.
"I've had big conversations with Max, and he's come a long way as a man in the last 12 months.
"The way we play, with two sitters, who can handle the ball, Max gives you such a different dimension and energy and quality.
"Max knows he's got a big future with us, and massive part to play.
"For this game, it's about everybody in the team and enjoying this one as a group."
Gibson was one of four debutantes, with left-back Antonee Robinson, centre-half Cedric Kipres and right-back Reece James all impressing first time out.
"All the debutantes were excellent, weren't they - I think you could see the individual talents of them all," Cook enthused.
"We're delighted the way they came in at such short notice and helped us get a win against such a strong Sheffield Wednesday side.
"It was a great day for the club, we'll all be seen in a great light tonight, and that's great for us all.
"At the same time we're not stupid, we only go to Villa Park next week...we'll be fine!"
Cook also praised two-goal Michael Jacobs, who also hit the bar and laid on the winning goal for Nick Powell in a magnificent performance.
"I'm delighted for Michael," said Cook.
"A lot of football is about confidence and belief, and sometimes when you've had a relegation or things haven't gone your way, it can affect your belief.
"As a manager I always want my team, this team, to go out there on the pitch and believe we're the better side and we're going to win the game.
"Michael and indeed every single person in the group played with that belief, and they executed what we wanted them to do very well.
"We wanted them to be aggressive in everything they did, and I felt we deserved everything we got."