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REACTION: PAUL COOK ON WIN AT NOTTS COUNTY

22 July 2017

Latics boss Paul Cook delighted with improved performance from his side as they record first pre-season win at Notts County on Saturday afternoon.

  • Paul Cook reacts to Wigan Athletic’s 2-1 win at Notts County.
  • Cook: “I think we improved by miles from the performance at Southport today.”
  • Manager also praises forward Callum Lang for taking his chance.

Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook says his side improved their performance from Tuesday night’s draw with Southport significantly to beat Notts County 2-1 on Saturday afternoon at Meadow Lane.

Speaking to iFollow Latics post-match, Cook said:

“I think we improved by miles from the performance at Southport today.

“We weren’t great with our shape early on today and we were all at sea in the first five minutes and suffered a couple of breakaways and gave a poor goal away from our point of view.

“I got the lads in at half-time and said to them that when we attack I don’t feel like we are going to score; there’s no belief in the team at the minute and if they don’t believe they are going to score then I guarantee you they won’t.

“We need to see more of that; I think we were comfortably the better team and I think Notts County will have a great season this year – they’re a handful of a team and with [Jon] Stead and [Shola] Ameobi up front they’ll cause teams problems.

“We had long periods of dominating the ball and we got in great situations but that little bit of belief or killer instinct just wasn’t there.

“To be fair to the young lads, they came on – as did Noel Hunt as well – and they gave us that little bit of energy and had a good time in the game.

“Our dressing room is quite a happy place at the minute and that’s because winning is what football is about.

“We came here to show how good we are as a club and I am pleased with today’s performance.”

Cook praised Callum Lang’s impact after coming off the bench, stating the academy graduate has continued to take his opportunity.

“He scored a goal and he won us the game,” Cook added. “At good clubs you don’t get chances often and if you get an opportunity you have to take it and Langy keeps taking it – credit to him.”

And the manager now wants the players to move forwards with the result against the League Two side.

“Unbeaten so far in pre-season! At 1-0 down and Ameobi makes it two but it was disallowed I thought here we go! In all seriousness, it’s great for the lads, it’s been a difficult 12 months and we’re now in the process of trying to rebuild ourselves and our confidence and it’s important the lads now believe in what they’re doing.

“I thought there were some really good signs today; we had some strong performances through the team. To be a good team, you’ve got to have good players and we’ve got plenty of good players.”

Back in Wigan, Will Grigg, Nick Powell, Andy Kellett and Donervon Daniels continued their recoveries in a 4-1 win over Llandudno FC and, on hearing the news, Cook was delighted:

“We’ve had a good day! Two wins,” he said. “Hopefully everyone has come through unscathed – we keep working our way up, it’s a long road in football and you can get too high, too quick and certainly too low very quick and my job is to make sure everyone keeps working hard and doing the right things.”


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