Boss says his side were excellent despite late defeat at Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon.
- WATCH: Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook on Latics’ 3-2 defeat at Aston Villa
- Cook says Latics were excellent in their performance at Villa Park and praised supporters for their efforts
- Cook: “For the players, fans clapped them off at the end and you can’t kid supporters.”
Paul Cook spoke to iFollow Latics after Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Aston Villa. WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW ABOVE!
Paul Cook on football being cruel:
I think they’ll be plenty of that in this division. You can’t switch off for a minute. Again, great game of football. I thought our lads were excellent, can you ask any more of our players? No. The game had crucial moments where we needed to hang on to our 2-1 lead for longer, we never did.
From our point of view the first two goals are poor goals, from Villa’s point of view they’re good goals and Villa are a good side, they’ve got good players all over the pitch and forever a threat.
While we’re disappointed, as we are, I do feel we were value for a point and we certainly wish Steve and his side our best for the season.
PC on chances to win the game:
They’ve got to score to be fair. You get those chances in games and key moments. Especially Josh Windass’ chance, it’s a clear-cut chance and great cross from the right. For as disappointed as we are we’ve had a week against Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa, we know what the league’s about now. We had the euphoria last week and the disappointment today. Me, as the manager, I’m not going to allow the disappointment to last too long. You can imagine the pain when they score in the Holte End late on, the whole ground erupts. We’ve come here, given it our best and unfortunately, weren’t good enough.
PC on coming back from going a goal down:
Again, it was a poor goal from our point of view. Aston Villa will say obviously say it’s a good goal. All the goals we score are great, even Powelly’s first one and they’re not great goals, they’re poor by the team who concedes them.
Disappointed to concede the first goal, we thought we were doing alright. We knew we would have staged where we could pass the ball but the disappointment is there.
For the players, fans clapped them off at the end. You can’t kid supporters. We had great travelling support today, they really got behind us and every single man when I looked across, as disappointed as they were, were standing there on their feet clapping the players. As a manager, that makes you proud.
PC on Connolly:
I think the way our two central midfielders work, Callum was just struggling to come to terms with that in the game. Lee Evans has been with us before and knows what we’re after so it allowed us to release Callum over to that side and bring more to us and he’s gone in, got a goal and great delivery, great goal.
It’s just hurting though, it’s hurting us all because when you lose it’s raw. That’s what football does to you.
I’m not going to come out be critical of anything, or anybody because of the pain you feel by getting beat.
PC on attacking intent over two games:
That’s the challenge for us.
We now play Nottingham Forest before Stoke away. They’re tough games, tough fixtures. The fixture list has been quite cruel to us early on, in relative terms of the teams we’re playing. They’ll probably all have aspirations of promotion.
We just want to keep going, making our supporters proud and like I’ve said to the lads, fitness, fitness, fitness and staying with what we’re doing. Hopefully we’ll be involved in more games like this, entertaining but hopefully getting points and results out of them.
PC on Rotherham and using squad:
The league is our total and utter priority, this year, the FA Cup as well. So there will be a lot of changes on Tuesday night for our supporters who are travelling. I wouldn’t want people to travel across and be disappointed with the team selection.
We respect every competition we’re in but these games are really tough on the legs and we’re in a very competitive league and we’re going to make sure the team selection are based around that.