‘I sound like a broken record...but my players can’t give me any more’ - Wigan Athletic boss
Paul Cook admits he’s beginning to ‘sound like a broken record’ after an all-too-familiar assessment of Wigan Athletic’s 3-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest.
The Latics boss had revealed in his pre-match media that no stone had been left unturned in the search for an answer to the ‘too contrasting’ home and away form.
But Josh Windass’ goal just after the half-hour was as good as it got for Latics, with Joe Lolley (19), Matty Cash (48) and Adlene Guedhoura (80) scoring for Forest.
Wigan’s luck was summed up in the last 10 minutes, with Reece James hitting the bar and Joe Garner seeing a penalty saved in the space of a minute.
The result means Latics have now lost 14 of their 17 away matches in all competitions this term, winning only once.
“Same old, same old...it’s just a little bit repetitive for our supporters,” Cook acknowledged.
“I know every single fan will have a different opinion, and rightly so.
“But all I can say is for me, my staff and my players, the situation is hugely disappointing.
“At the moment we’re just not able to give them any more away from home.
“But I’m looking at each and every one of my players and wondering whether they can give me any more - I’m not so sure they can do.
“They kept going for the full 90 minutes, but the mistakes we’re making are just repetitive ones, the same ones.
“Sometimes you can sound like a broken record, and it’s not what I want to sound like for our fans.
“I want to give our fans hope and belief we are going to come out of this.
“And I can assure the fans who travelled today - and they supported us in great numbers - we will do everything we can to believe what they want.”
All three of Forest’s goals came with long-range strikes, and Cook thought long and hard before responding to a question about whether the goals could have been avoided.
“I think as a manager one of the tough things is you have to come straight in after a game and talk to the media,” he recognised.
“Sometimes you can be hurting as much as any fan, and you really have to be careful what you say.
“Moments are going against us in games.
“In my opinion, Forest scored their first goal against the run of play, and we did well to come back in to it.
“Second half we’re under no pressure, we’re in their half, and all of a sudden we concede.
“It’s just a repetitive pattern - and something has to break that pattern.
“That’s for myself, the staff, the club, to sort out for the fans.”
Cook also deflected another question about the away record with a hugely relevant point about the season so far.
“The (home-and-away) record is what it is, and I have to disagree with people on that,” he said.
“The last two times this club has been in this division, it’s been relegated.
“As it stands, I think we’re still six points clear of the bottom three.
“If we can finish the season six points clear of the bottom three, I would be absolutely delighted with the season - home and away.
“While I understand the question, and it’s a valid question, there’s not many grounds you to in the Championship where it’s easy, I can tell you.”