Wigan Athletic boss keeping January transfer plans close to his chest

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

Paul Cook expects to be a busy man during January – but the Wigan Athletic boss will be keeping his cards very close to his chest as to the identity of his targets.

Cook is expected to try and bring in a number of reinforcements after seeing his squad decimated by injuries in the first half of the campaign.

But when asked if left-back was perhaps his most pressing concern – with first-choice Antonee Robinson sidelined until February – Cook played a textbook straight bat.

“I don’t think it’s correct to be discussing targets in the media,” he said.

“The best clubs are the ones who do things behind the scenes, and that’s what we’ll try and do.

“It’s probably the only side of the game that I will generally be ducking out of speaking on.”

Latics head into Saturday’s Championship clash at Ipswich EIGHT points clear of the relegation zone, despite being without a number of recognised first-teamers on a long-term basis.

There is at least good news on that score, with Gavin Massey and Chey Dunkley back in the squad, and Michael Jacobs expected to return next month.

“I always say your own fans should know your club well,” remarked Cook.

“Criticism will always get flung at managers, and that’s fair enough – we’re fair game these days.

“But if you’re a good supporter, you should know what goes on at your club.

“To say we’ve been having a tough run with injuries would be an understatement.

“I’ve never tried to make that an excuse, and I’m not going to start now. But to see Gavin back with the first team, Michael Jacobs on the grass, Will Grigg back to full fitness, Chey Dunkley might be involved this weekend...it’s great to see.”

Cook’s left-back problems were exacerbated last weekend with stand-in midfielder Kal Naismith’s red card against Derby meaning he’s suspended for this weekend.

The Latics boss has a number of options at his disposal, but chose not to voice those out loud for fear of alerting the opposition.

“It is what it is, especially being without Antonee until February,” added Cook.

“Kal’s come in and done very well at left-back, he really has embraced the position.

“Someone else is going to have to go in and sort that position, and that’s what squads are for.

“I won’t be second-guessing our team in the press, I’m sure Paul (Lambert) will be putting that together.

“There’s probably a lot of clubs who will be struggling with injuries at this time of year, and we’re no different.”