Wigan Athletic manager's plea to the fans

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

‘Stick with us’.

That’s the message from Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook to the club’s supporters ahead of this weekend’s return to action at Hull.

Latics signed off for the international break with a 0-0 draw against Barnsley, which stopped the rot after five damaging defeats on the spin.

That run had left Cook admitting after the 3-1 loss at QPR last that ‘if results stay the same, someone else will be speaking to you’ (the media).

With tough trips to Hull and Fulham sandwiching the visit of second-placed Charlton in the next fortnight, Latics could clearly do with some points on the board.

And Cook says retaining a united front is critical to that.

“If you look at the performance against Cardiff, I don’t think many people left the stadium unhappy,” he told the Wigan Post.

“The Leeds performance, to some extent you can put it down to having a man sent off after 20 minutes.

“And Barnsley was very much a case of two nervous teams playing each other.

“But supporters must accept that will happen, because footballers are nowhere near as strong and mentally tough as you might think.

“My job, the supporters’ job, everyone’s job, is to give them the confidence and the belief to go and play their football.

“And then they must return that support to the fans for getting behind them. It’s a two-way street in football, and that will always be the case.”

Cook has regularly spoken of his dismay at how quickly managers come under pressure these days – and he remains firmly focused on the job in front of him.

“I think I’m the first Wigan Athletic manager to stay in the Championship – even without parachute money,” he added.

“If the owners or the chairman ever decided they wanted to go in another direction, that’s football today.

"But I certainly don’t ever think about that side of things.

“All I think about, my only thought process, is how I can make us successful.

“If you look at the last three years in the Championship...how many managers we’ve had, how many players we’ve had...if people want to continue with that cycle, good luck. I’ve no problem what that.

“But my only focus is coming up with solutions that allow us to become a better team.”