Wigan Athletic boss fuming after penalty ‘levelling up’

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

Paul Cook admitted Wigan Athletic’s late penalty heartache at Norwich was particularly hard to stomach because of the sheer inevitability of it.

Latics went down 1-0 at Carrow Road thanks to an 84th-minute spot-kick from Mario Vrancic, after substitute Callum Connolly was adjudged to have fouled Teemu Pukki in the box.

Cook felt referee Gavin Ward’s controversial decision was affected by his refusal to award the home side a spot-kick midway through the first half for a clear foul on Pukki by Chey Dunkley - which the Latics boss agreed was a stonewall penalty.

“It’s a difficult emotion at the moment, because I always try and give an honest assessment of a game,” said the Latics boss.

“I did think their penalty in the first half was a penalty, you’ve got to be truthful about these things.

“But once he hasn’t given that, we always possibly the next opportunity he got, he would genuinely give Norwich a penalty.”

Cook had words with Ward after the game as the players left the field, but wasn’t prepared to divulge what was said.

“I’ll always have a biased view on it,” he acknowledged.

“People say these things balance themselves out over a season, but we’ve had a few now.

“I just feel the game was petering out to a 0-0, both teams cancelled each other out, and I think a draw would have been a fair result.

“We’re disappointed because over the 90 minutes we got into positions and possibly should have created more from them.

“We’d got into some good positions on the field, but our final ball wasn’t great on the day.

“We tried to be aggressive with our shape, we tried to press them high up the pitch, and a lot of what we did was very good.

“Norwich are a great side playing really well, and they have a lot of rotation in the team.

“And we nullified them and restricted them for most of the game.”