Scoreline ‘flattered us’, admits Wigan Athletic boss

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook could not hide his delight after watching his side dump Premier League Bournemouth out of the FA Cup to set up a fourth-round tie against West Ham.

Latics had come within seconds of knocking out the Cherries on the south coast 11 days ago, but finished the job in impressive style on home soil.

Skipper Sam Morsy opened the scoring on nine minutes, with substitute Dan Burn and Callum Elder - his first goal in English football - adding the others in the final quarter.

But Cook was keeping his feet firmly on the ground as he assessed a famous day for the club.

“Games take certain patterns, and everything went our way tonight,” the Latics boss acknowledged.

“We got the first goal at the correct time, the second goal at the correct time, and the third goal’s killed them.

“It was a strong performance, but we’re not stupid enough to think it was a comfortable 3-0.

“We were on the back foot for a long time against a good team, and we had to defend deeper and deeper.

“That meant we had to keep our concentration, and I was pleased with the way we did that.”

The win evokes memories of five seasons ago, when Latics saw off Bournemouth in the third round after a replay on their way to lifting the FA Cup at Wembley.

That was the furthest thing from Cook’s mind, when he sent on centre-back Burn with 19 minutes to go, to try to hold on to a precarious 1-0 lead.

But with Burn’s first contribution being to apply the finishing touch to Max Power’s cross, maybe the magic of the cup could be in the air again.

“We felt that Bournemouth were constantly trying to pass through us, and they have such quality in the team,” recognised Cook.

“To put Dan on and go three centre-backs was important, because we knew we’d come under pressure.

“Obviously to get the second goal within a couple of minutes was a massive bonus.

“Sometimes things go for you like that, and we’re very happy it did.

“It was a great win for us, but the scoreline I felt was a little bit flattering for us.”