Wigan Athletic drinks cabinet ‘won’t change for anybody’ - Cook!

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

“A can of Skol.”

That’s what Pep Guardiola’s tastebuds have to look forward to in the manager’s office at the DW Stadium after Manchester City’s FA Cup fifth-round tie against Wigan Athletic.

And Latics boss Paul Cook says they’re not going to push out the boat for anyone!

“Look, we respect Pep,” acknowledged Cook. “But our drinks cabinet won’t change for anybody.

“I think we got David Moyes a £12 bottle of wine from Tesco when West Ham played here in the last round!

“But we’ll show Pep the utmost respect and I’m sure, by the time he leaves, he’ll have a good experience of Wigan.”

It’s become something of a tired cliche in recent years of lower-league managers competing with each other to buy the most expensive bottle of wine for the likes of Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson.

It’s not a PR exercise that Cook is in any danger of getting dragged into.

“For us, we’re not here to be Pep’s best mate,” he insisted. “We’re not, we’re genuinely not.

“We’re here to have a game of football in an FA Cup tie.

“Man City bring something different to the town, of course they do.

“You have got the best team in the world, possibly, maybe the best manager in the world, the best coach in the world.

“For people to just say it’s a normal game, it’s not.

“But we will be competitive in the game.

“We are not here to make best friends with Man City, and have everyone pat us on the back after they’ve beaten us by five, and say ‘have a good season’.”

Not that Cook isn’t relishing the opportunity of sitting down with the Spaniard, who has his eyes on an unprecedented trophy quadruple, and chewing the fat as he would with any opposition manager.

“With the best will in the world, Pep will get invited in with his staff before the game, like everyone should in England,” said Cook.

“Last Tuesday night, it was (Blackpool manager) Gary Bowyer, and it’s the same.

“For us lads, I think that’s the time managers should sit down.

“For anyone, for us lads, to be in that company will be great.

“It’s an English culture, and I think it’s a good culture.

“For me, some of the modern-day managers don’t show each other enough respect.

“I really do think that’s sad but I think that’s the way football is going.”

One Wigan manager who knows what it’s like to get one over City is the great Roberto Martinez - like Guardiola, a fellow Catalonian - who will be an interested spectator on the night, with Belgium duo Kevin de Bruyne and Vincent Kompany in the away side.

Will Cook be seeking to benefit from the Martinez experience?

“I’ll need more than Roberto’s good-luck messages!” Cook laughed.

“All I can say is that we’re looking forward to the game. We really are.

“Enjoy it...and it’ll be a really good night for everyone.”