Wigan Athletic ‘have steadied the ship and are in a great position’, says Chris McCann

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

Paul Cook has succeeded in ‘steadying the ship’ at Wigan Athletic after years of bobbing up and down in chopping waters.

That’s the view of former Latics star Chris McCann, who has admired from afar the job Cook has done at the DW Stadium since his arrival in 2017.

McCann is due to fly back to the UK later today for Christmas after helping Atlanta United win the MLS Cup at the weekend – in only their second season ain existence.

Despite being thousands of miles away, he still keeps bang up-to-date with events at DW, and says Cook is on course to deliver a much-needed season of consolidation.

“It’s probably easier here to watch the games than it was back home, so I don’t miss anything happening at Wigan,” he told the Wigan Post.

“And when you’ve played for a club it never leaves you, you’re always interested in how they’re doing.

“As far as Wigan are concerned, I’m impressed with what’s happened since Paul Cook’s come in.

“He’s certainly steadied the ship and got them playing in a good way.

“I see a few fans were moaning a few weeks ago when they lost a few games in a row.

“But the team’s been so up and down in the last couple of years, it’s needed someone to come in and steady them.

“He got them back into the Championship, they may not be flying at the top of the table but they’re consolidating.

“Safely in mid-table in the Championship in the grand scheme of things, when you take everything into consideration, is no mean feat.

“If you’d have said at the start of the season Wigan would be safely in mid-table coming up to Christmas, you’d have said that was a great position.

“When you take a step back and see where the club’s been, where it was, I think everyone would agree it’s going well.

“There’s a good group of players there, a good manager, and hopefully that will continue to be the case.”

McCann is loving life Stateside, after Atlanta United broke a supposed ‘curse’ by bringing sporting silverware back to the city after a 23-year-old drought.

And he says the 2-0 victory over Portland Timbers – including fellow Latics old-boy Liam Ridgewell – in front of an MLS record crowd of 73,019 has capped a wonderful two years over there.

“Last year we were terribly unlucky that we didn’t get further than the first round of the play-offs,” said McCann, who has two years left on his deal.

“That obviously led to more expectation and hope for this year and, with the team we had, we knew we could do something good.

“Ever since we won the Eastern Conference against New York, the buzz around the club and the city was incredible. To actually be involved in it, it’s hard to comprehend.

“Soccer is the number one sport in Atlanta at the moment...that doesn’t make any sense!”