Staying up better than getting up - Wigan Athletic boss

Paul Cook has reflected on the achievement of securing Championship safety – and reckons it’s more satisfying than winning last season’s League One title.

Friday, 26th April 2019, 11:09 am
Updated Friday, 26th April 2019, 12:14 pm
Paul Cook

The Latics chief has enjoyed a fairytale two years since moving up from Portsmouth – with whom he’d just won the League Two title – in the summer of 2017.

First he took all the expectation of being promotion favourites in his stride to guide Latics to the third-tier top-spot last term.

Then he handled the different kind of pressure of being a small fish in a big pond, to guide Latics to safety in the second tier with one of the smallest budgets in the division.

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“If you look at the calibre of squad we carried last year, I personally think the expectation for us to get promoted from League One was strong,” Cook acknowledged.

“If you look at the last two occasions this club has been in the Championship, we were relegated – with parachute money.

"We didn’t have parachute money this time, and if people think it’s a doddle to stay up, they’re wrong.

“The sense of achievement of staying up this year is a lot more than the achievement of going up last year.”

Latics rose to the dizzy heights of 18th spot after beating Preston 2-0 on Easter Monday.

They can climb another place this weekend when they travel to 17th-placed Birmingham, who are two points better off.

And victory over struggling Milllwall on the final weekend would give them an outside chance of replacing Stoke – who are currently five points in front – in 16th spot.