Wigan Athletic boss returns serve to Dack!
One of the intriguing sub-plots to this season has been the succession of comments being directed between the rival camps of Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers regarding all matter of things '“ from the Nick Powell/Bradley Dack debate to the destination of the League One title.
Rovers star Dack himself has stoked up the fires ahead of the weekend by admitting he would ‘love it if we beat Wigan to the title’.
Which provoked a quite magnificent reaction from Latics boss Paul Cook at his weekly Friday morning press conference.
“Bradley Dack...(pause)...Bradley Dack...(pause)...I can’t get drawn into this......!” Cook laughed while unleashing a massive stretch.
Having recovered himself, he continued: “There’s always been a lot between us and Blackburn.
“Geographically...being relegated together last season...that means there’s always going to be rivalry.
“But at the same time there’s also got to be a sense of sportsmanship that exists.
“Both games against them, we’ve had a drink in the office with Tony (Mowbray) and his staff.
“We all get on very well, but there’s always going to be fierce rivalry between the two.
“So you can tell Bradley that the feeling is quite mutual!
“That’s the best thing I can say.”
Latics head into the weekend with a one-point over Rovers and a vastly-superior goal difference, meaning anything less than a Blackburn win at Charlton would allow Cook’s men to effectively wrap up the title with a home win against Wimbledon.
Not that Cook believes there would be any shame in finishing runners-up after such a great race.
“The thing about this situation is one of these two teams is going to end up coming second,” the Latics boss acknowledged.
“It’s how you react to coming up second, if that is the case.
“If it was us, I would have no problem, no issue, with coming second to Blackburn.
“We will be very, very gracious in offering Blackburn our congratulations. I’m not sure that would be reciprocated...
“Hopefully we can see the job through now, although Blackburn will want to win it as much as us.
“It does carry kudos, but if we don’t win it, that’s football and I’ll wish Blackburn well.
“What actually comes with finishing above the other? Probably nothing, if truth be told.
“It’s two very strong squads, with very good players, but it’s always nice to win something and be on top.
“I’ve said all along that the best team will finish top, the second best will finish second, and so on.
“Everyone’s had the bad refereeing decisions, the injuries, the suspensions, the hard-luck stories.
“But once the seasons ends, it’s time to reflect, and where you finish is where you deserve to.”