Wigan Athletic manager 'loving' the pressure

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

Paul Cook insists there'll be no fear factor surrounding Wigan Athletic as they head into Saturday's huge six-pointer against Reading at the DW Stadium.

Latics dropped into the bottom three in midweek, despite picking up a decent point from a 2-2 draw at Millwall.

But such is the situation at the bottom of the division, three points could see Latics move up four places - and leapfrog the Royals in the process.

Which explains why Cook's glass will always be half-full, despite the high stakes surrounding the game.

When asked whether he was enjoying the situation, Cook replied: "I'm loving it...it's great!

"Why wouldn't I be? What's the point in not enjoying it?

"As a manager, if you fear something, you won't manage how you want.

"I can only try and give the lads the confidence to play.

"If the lads believe in themselves, and they're as good as we think they are, everything will be fine.

"Every player, and manager, and everyone who works in football, should every now and again take a step back and realise how lucky we are to be in this industry.

"We get to wake up every day and pretend we're going to work. It's never been work - it's a great life."

Latics are looking to get back on track after their impressive home record at the DW - stretching back to the beginning of last season - has hit something of a roadblock.

Successive setbacks to Swansea and Brentford saw a section of the home support voice their displeasure during the latter encounter.

Cook says a return to form - right from the off - is imperative towards turning things around.

"An early goal would be nice, we'll see how it goes," the Latics boss said.

"Last year we had a game against Bolton at home, that people were saying was 'must-win', and we scored early.

"Everything went our way, including the opposition goalie dropping the ball to our striker.

"When you're in trouble, the opposition goalie dropping the ball to your striker doesn't half help!

"But that's football, and it's part of the reason we love the game so much.

"It's why, when you wake up on Saturday morning, you have that excitement in your body.

"If we play like we did against Brentford at home, it won't be a good day for us.

"If we play like we did against Swansea at home, it will be a good day for us - irrespective of the result.

"We can only concentrate on the performances, and we've done all our work on Reading.

"The league's starting to take shape now, and for us it's about concentrating on what we're trying to achieve."