Why Wigan Athletic boss will be turning off Sky Sports

Paul Cook admits it will take time to 'dissect and digest' the heartbreaking loss at Reading - in the knowledge his Wigan Athletic side have to bounce back on Tuesday night at Blackburn.

Sunday, 10th March 2019, 12:39 pm
Updated Monday, 25th March 2019, 3:48 pm
Chey Dunkley in action at Reading

Latics let slip a 2-1 lead heading into the 90th minute to lose 3-2 at relegation rivals Reading on Saturday.

After Nick Powell's early goal had been cancelled out by John Swift's free-kick in first-half stoppage-time, Joe Garner's strike just after the hour looked like proving decisive.

But the Royals had other ideas, with Mo Barrow equalising in the last minute, and Yakou Meite winning it in the seventh minute of added time.

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With 10 games to go, Latics have slipped to fifth-bottom in the table with only a three-point buffer to the drop zone.

And Cook cut a forlorn figure in trying to assess what went wrong at the Madejski Stadium.

"I can't really turn my attention to anything else at the minute," he mused.

"This is so fresh in the mind, and you've got to be able to dissect it and digest it before you move on.

"Going into the last minute of both halves we were in control.

"And then minutes later it's all gone wrong.

"Let's try and get over this first before we start to think about Blackburn."

When asked what the process of getting over the loss involved, Cook replied: "You turn Sky Sports off when you get home, that's the first thing you do!

"But this is football, this is part of management.

"All I can ask is whether my players could have given me any more during the game.

"And I don't think our players could have given me any more.

"If we'd have won, we still wouldn't have been necessarily staying up.

"Just because we lost, it doesn't mean the opposite is going to happen.

"We'll have to lick our wounds and go again.

"But I think the key for us is that if we replicate that form we won't have a problem staying in this division."

Cook also explained his reasoning for withdrawing Powell and Gavin Massey in the final quarter, for Kal Naismith and Leon Clarke, who struggled to get up to speed with the game.

"They were fatigued, tired, the two lads, Powelly and Gav," added Cook.

"I thought they were both excellent, and you don't want to bring either of them off.

"But we must have them fit and available for the rest of the season."