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29 July 2018

Paul Cook reflects on Latics' pre-season defeat to Rangers FC at Ibrox Stadium.

  • Pre-Season Reaction: Paul Cook post Rangers FC.
  • Update on Dan Burn who was substituted due to injury at half time.
  • Cook determined Latics will be ready for Sheffield Wednesday test on the opening day of the Sky Bet Championship season.

2018-19 Season Cards

Speaking to iFollow Latics at Ibrox Stadium following his side's 3-0 defeat to Steven Gerrard's Rangers FC, Paul Cook said he was naturally disappointed, but believes Latics were well in control before the hosts' 10-minute goal glut.

"We were probably the better team in the first half, we were controlling the game, but in the space of 10 second half minutes the game had gone.

"In that space of time the game was done and dusted and from our point of view that's not good enough. In pre-season you're working hard to get better and working on fitness levels.

"At half time we thought we had enough to go out and win the game, but for whatever reason we didn't and that's something we're going to have to look at and work on all week because we've got a big game against Sheffield Wednesday to look forward to.

"Football can be difficult because you don't see some things coming and I certainly didn't see their three goals coming like that.

"I felt we were in control of the game, we were dominating the ball and with a bit more belief in the final third and being a bit more clinical we felt we could have won the game."

1,800 Latics supporters made the trip north of the border, something Cook and his players thoroughly appreciated.

"We had a great travelling support today, fair play to our fans for coming up in their numbers.

"It was a good game against a fantastic football club and Steven (Gerrard) has had a good start up here. Hopefully he can keep that going and we wish him really well. It was a great day out for our fans.

"Our fans are probably a bit anxious about incomings and outgoings, but when we have something to announce we will tell them. We must stay focused and the most important thing is that we concentrate on our players and training and working hard to be ready for Sheffield Wednesday."

With the raw emotion of defeat very much present, Cook reflected.

"For managers after games you can come out and speak too quickly and have too much emotion. When you get beat you're always hurting and for us to come here and lose 3-0 after half time we're wondering how's that happened? It's happened, so we'll go away assess the game and look at what we can do to make it better.

"We knew it would be a tough game and one which felt like a Championship game. It could be a long and tough season for us, we've been here before in this division but the lads will go away train harder and longer and come back fitter and hungrier and hopefully put that right.

"We looked a very good side in the first half, we were well balanced and we looked like we were getting closer and closer to scoring."

Dan Burn was forced off at half time and replaced by Alex Bruce, but Cook admits we're yet to find out the full extent of the central defender's injury.

"Dan (Burn) took a knock to his foot which doesn't look great, so Alex (Bruce) had to come on, but one substitution shouldn't knock us out of our stride like that, which it did and we just didn't start the second half. Once you go 1-0 down at places like this it's hard to come back, so at three the game is done and dusted.

"Dan's hurt himself making a block tackle. We need to get him an x-ray, so we've got our fingers crossed with that, it's far too early to tell."

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