We’d have taken a point against Middlesbrough before kick-off, admits Wigan Athletic boss

Paul Cook was more than happy to extend Wigan Athletic’s winning run to five matches thanks to a 0-0 draw against Middlesbrough - even though the gap to the drop zone has been cut to just three points.

Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 1:27 pm
Updated Sunday, 3rd March 2019, 2:27 pm
Reece James gets stuck in against Middlesbrough

With relegation rivals Reading and Rotherham beating Ipswich and Blackburn respectively, Latics are within touching distance of the bottom three for the first time this season.

They have a chance to put that right when they travel to Derby on Tuesday night for their game in hand.

And Cook is adamant the Latics glass remains half-full.

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“You know how tough the league is, the teams are so strong, none more so than the team we’ve played today,” he said.

“For any team to go five games unbeaten, you’re doing something okay.

“Having said that, obviously we would like some more points on the board.”

Latics had chances to see off a Middlesbrough side Cook reckons will get promoted back to the Premier League at the end of the season.

Sam Morsy had an early effort brilliantly smothered by Darren Randolph, while Leon Clarke headed just wide in the second half from Lee Evans’ cross.

But Boro created - and squandered - even better opportunities, with Britt Assombalonga missing an open goal in the first period, and Ashley Fletcher rounding Jamie Jones after the break but finding only the side-netting.

“I would suggest that was a fair result,” assessed Cook.

“If someone had offered us a point before the game, we’d have taken it.

“With the calibre of player they have, and the threat they pose, we knew there would be times where we had to defend.

“The lads did that relatively well, and the game has panned out pretty much how we expected.

“It was always going to need a flair player to produce a moment of magic to win the game, and neither team were able to do that.”