It’s not a three-horse race, insists Wigan Athletic chief

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

Paul Cook insists the League One title race remains open to a host of clubs despite Wigan Athletic cementing their grip on top spot at the weekend.

Cook’s men recorded an impressive 3-1 victory at in-form Plymouth on Saturday, to extend their lead at the summit to five points.

Shrewsbury’s failure to beat Doncaster saw them overtaken in second on goal difference by Blackburn, who beat Fleetwood and are unbeaten in 16 games.

All three sides have a game in hand over the rest of the promotion chasers led by fourth-placed Scunthorpe, who are 10 points off the top.

But Cook is refusing to call it a three-horse race just yet.

“Shrewsbury are having a outstanding season, they won’t go away,” Cook assessed.

“Blackburn are on a phenomenal run, and are now up to second.

“On top of that you’ve got Bradford, Scunthorpe, Charlton, Rotherham, Portsmouth...so many good teams.

“As long as there’s a chance we might get caught, it’s important we keep doing our job and keep winning.

“We can’t affect what other teams are doing. All we can do is concentrate on ourselves.

“But to be five points clear at this stage says a lot about how well we’re doing.”

Shrewsbury and Blackburn have an immediate chance to claw back more points this weekend on Latics, who are on FA Cup fourth-round duty against West Ham.

The Shrews, who were beaten by the Hammers in round three, face the long trip south to face Portsmouth, while Blackburn entertain Northampton

And the Latics boss acknowledged having to balance both competitions carries its complications.

“We’ve become embroiled in the FA Cup now, which sees another game postponed,” added Cook.

“What we have to do is keep up the momentum, because the challenges will come thick and fast.”