We need more players, admits Wigan Athletic boss

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

Paul Cook admits he’s still desperately on the look-out new blood after seeing his Wigan Athletic side held 1-1 by National League outfit Chesterfield in their penultimate pre-season friendly.

Will Grigg scored his second goal in two games, and the visiting fans got their first look at ‘new-boy’ Callum McManaman at the Proact Stadium.

But Cook was unhappy to say the least with much of what he saw.

And with the Championship season getting under way in nine days - and the transfer deadline fast approaching - he admits the clock is ticking in terms of bolstering the squad.

“It’s easy for me to sit here and tell you what we need and what we don’t need, but the supporters can see that for themselves, they’re not stupid,” he told the Wigan Post.

“We know we need to bring in more players, at least a couple, we need to strengthen the squad...and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Latics couldn’t build on Grigg’s opening goal just before the interval, with the Northern Ireland man being denied a second goal by an offside flag.

And the home aside found an equaliser midway through the second half when the impressive Jerome Binnom-Williams stabbed home from close range.

“To be honest I’m more disappointed with how we played, because we wanted to be much better,” Cook acknowledged.

“At times it took me back to last summer at Southport (a 0-0 draw)...it was that bad!

“I wanted us to be better, brighter, more of a goal threat, create more chances, but it is what it is.

“All in all it’s helped us with our fitness, and we’ll take that into the Rangers game on Sunday.”

Dan Burn completed the 90 minutes on his return from a groin operation, while Sam Morsy was a surprise starter, less than a fortnight after returning to training following the World Cup.

“Everyone knows what a competitive lad Sammy is,” added Cook.

“We brought him off after 70 minutes - he wanted to stay out there!

“It’s a situation we have to manage, because we want him to be ready for the first game of the season - and he will be.”

Cook was chuffed to receive a standing ovation - along with fellow returning ex-Chesterfield men Morsy and Gary Roberts - from the home supporters who clearly still love him following the great job he did before leaving for Portsmouth in 2015.

“It’s always nice for players and managers to come back to places like this where you’ve had success and the people here show their appreciation,” the Latics boss recognised.

“I don’t like to see this club where they are at the moment - it’s a great club, you only have to look at the facilities.

“I certainly wish them well for the future, and I hope they can take the first step back this year.”