Win would put us in 'fantastic position again', insists Wigan Athletic chief

Paul Cook insists three points at Barnsley this weekend would put Wigan Athletic in ‘a fantastic position’ – despite the looming 12-point deduction.
Paul CookPaul Cook
Paul Cook

Latics travel to Oakwell to face the second-bottom Tykes eight points clear of the drop zone with four matches to play.

But with the penalty for being placed into administration still to be factored in – which would see them drop to a place and point behind Barnsley – they have to effectively secure safety a second time.

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However, with his team top of the form table since the turn of the year, Cook’s glass is not so much half full – but almost filled to the top.

And he discounts any notion the crazy fixture backlog is starting to take its toll.

“No, not at all...fatigue won’t be an issue for us,” he told the Wigan Post.

“We’ve got a massive game this weekend at Barnsley.

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“If we could go there and win, we’d be in a fantastic position in this division again.

“It’s just a case of taking one game at a time, and focusing on that.

“It’s boring for you guys (the media), but it has to be that way. A defeat in midweek (against QPR) would have absolutely flattened the football club, the players, and me...and we’d have probably gone out with a whimper.

“We had to win, we did win, and we have to win again on Saturday.”

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Not that Cook is getting carried away by Wednesday’s win (inset), given the precarious situation still surrounding the DW Stadium.

“We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves, we’re not stupid people,” he acknowledged.

“We know we’ve still got a really big mountain to climb.

“The challenge this season was to improve on last year, I’ve always been a manager that’s prided himself on improving year on year.

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“If you can keep improving your club, the reality is you’re doing better and better.

“We’re on 53 points now and, regardless of what’s gone on, I was very confident we could kick on and get to 60 points, with the games we have left.

“Obviously what’s gone on makes 60 points a very difficult target... would that keep us up? Who knows.

“It’s been such a difficult week for everyone, let’s just enjoy a tiny bit of happiness from beating QPR and we’ll take it from there.”

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Cook also confirmed he is looking at the league table as if Wigan had been deducted 12 points, rather than place too much hope on the club’s appeal being successful.

“We have to think like that, the rules are there for everyone to see,” he added.

“The debate is not why we’re in administration...we are and that points to a 12-point deduction.

“I just hope the EFL hand out punishments to any other clubs that have broken the rules.”