Wigan Athletic boss ready for 17-game shoot-out!

‘The season starts here’ – that’s the message from Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook with the January transfer window now firmly slammed shut.
Paul CookPaul Cook
Paul Cook

Will Grigg’s £4million move to Sunderland was finally completed on Friday morning, one of five January departures along with Callum Connolly, Leo Da Silva Lopes, Alex Bruce and Jordan Flores.

There were five additions during the month, with Friday afternooon arrival Jonas Olsson - a free agent - joining Anthony Pilkington, Danny Fox, Leon Clarke and Beni Baningime at the DW.

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Cook could hand as many as three debuts out for Saturday’s vital visit of QPR, and has challenged his side to refocus their efforts ahead of the final third of the campaign.

“With the window being closed, there’s a clear focus on what we’re trying to do,” he told the Wigan Post.

“We’re now involved in a 17-game league campaign that will see us either succeed or fail in our aims.

“Now the squad is in place we can throw all of our focus on that end goal.

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“All the debates about players coming and players going, that’s all gone now.

“I’m delighted on the whole with the players we’ve been allowed to bring in.

“We’ve been stretched for a while now, and I think our supporters will understand that.

“We needed quality, we needed experience, we needed men...and I feel we’ve ticked all the boxes.

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“Now we have the task of integrating those players as quickly as we can.”

Cook was also able to deliver a positive fitness report for one of the rare occasions this term.

“Anthony Pilkington will be back in the 18, that’ll be a lift,” the Latics boss added.

“Gavin Massey, Antonee Robinson are both back on the grass...they won’t be ready for Saturday but they’ll be ready for Rotherham next weekend.

“There’s only really Powelly left then between us and a fully-fit squad.”

Skipper Sam Morsy starts a two-game ban.