Gaffer disappointed with result but pleased supporters clapped his side off after tight game ends in frustrating defeat.
- WATCH: Paul Cook assesses Wigan Athletic’s Boxing Day defeat at West Bromwich Albion
- Boss says his side generally did well in the game at the Hawthorns and was pleased supporters clapped their side off at the end
- Paul Cook: “You can’t kid supporters; when your fans clap you off at the end of a football match, it means they are happy with what they have seen, albeit we were disappointed to get beat.”
Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook was frustrated his side couldn’t take anything back up the M6 with them after a close encounter with West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon.
Speaking post-match with iFollow Latics after his side fell to two Jay Rodriguez goals for the Baggies, Cook said:
“I am desperately disappointed; we were backed by great travelling support and in stages of the game we did really well again, that’s the disappointment.
“We have never been at a stage to date where we are defending our 18 yard box or we’re clearing balls all game and today again we were always in the game.
“Everything seems to be going against us at the minute and it is something as a manager, a squad and as supporters that we have to manage.
“The reaction from the fans at the end of the game spoke volumes of the commitment of the players today and I think as a manager that is all you can ask.
“Whilst we accept criticism and we are disappointed, we do have to have a sense of reality because of the players on the pitch that West Brom carry, it was always going to be a difficult afternoon. It was made more difficult by conceding so early in the game and then conceding at the time we did in the second half.
“You can’t kid supporters; criticism comes at managers and players so quickly and for me managing is a privilege, like playing is a privilege and supporting your club is too – it is a lifetime commitment and no club has a good day every day but when your fans clap you off at the end of a football match, it means they are happy with what they have seen, albeit we were disappointed to get beat.”
Latics were boosted by Gavin Massey’s return to the starting XI from injury whilst Chey Dunkley was also back in action.
Cook added post-match he was also happy with Callum McManaman’s impact from the bench as Latics looked to find a second-half leveller.
“It was nice that Chey Dunkley was on the pitch today,” Cook explained. “Gavin Massey started his first game since coming back and Michael Jacobs will be back in a week or two, Nick Powell could back in January too and we may dip into the January transfer market.
“It is a long season; we are all feeling a little bit low at the minute with the results because we are not on a great run like we have been in the last 18 months. The players are doing as much as they can, though, lads like Kal Naismith are growing in the team and Callum McManaman was excellent today – he gave us a spark that we haven’t had and that’s great credit to him.”