Wigan Athletic were 'four minutes from safety', admits Paul Cook

Paul Cook was struggling to hide his disappointment after seeing Wigan Athletic concede a stoppage-time equaliser at Charlton - with Championship safety in touching distance.

By Paul Kendrick
Saturday, 18th July 2020, 3:48 pm
Updated Saturday, 18th July 2020, 3:52 pm
Jamal Lowe opens the scoring at Charlton
Jamal Lowe opens the scoring at Charlton

Latics twice led at the Valley, through Jamal Lowe and Kieran Dowell.

But Alfie Doughty and then Macauley Bonne with 92 minutes on the clock pegged back Latics, with Cook admitting a perfect afternoon's work was ruined by a defensive lapse.

"Yeah, yeah, it would have been, yeah," he said.

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"There'll certainly be no criticism of the players, though, if we're summarising the game.

"We've not really been at our best, we've never really got going, in terms of dominating possession and creating chances.

"We're playing against a good side in terms of honesty and commitment and effort, who just keep knocking on the door.

"They've probably put more crosses into our box than any team we've played against for a long, long time, they kept asking the question.

"You can break down their equalising goal certainly, and we're massively disappointed a striker can find himself in 10 yards of space in the penalty areas in the 92nd minute.

"We had three centre-halves on the pitch, they had two strikers, so that's not right.

"But while we want to be self-critical, these players have been absolutely magnificent for our football club, that's the brutal reality of the situation."

When asked whether Latics would have been safe had they held on for three points, Cook didn't think twice.

"Yep, I genuinely did," he replied. "Now, we're going to have to win our last game against Fulham, and even then it might not be enough.

"That's the real disappointment, because these players don't deserve that. But I'm not going to go into spilt milk."