Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook assesses his side's trip to Bradford City on Wednesday night.
- WATCH: Paul Cook previews Bradford City v Wigan Athletic
- Cook discusses his side’s form, team news and the Bantams
- Cook: “What’s most important is that we stay with it and do our best to win the next game.”
PC on the Scunthorpe draw
I keep saying the same messages about it being a long season and you have your highs and your lows during the course of a 46 game season. We always look at the last game as the most immediate one and we’ve probably had a couple of players in our team lately who haven’t played as well as they have done earlier in the season, but that’s football and they need my support. We have to keep our basic habits of working hard and pressing teams and then our quality will come through.
PC on returning to good form
There’s 13 games left and for every team having destiny in your own hands is so important. For us it’s very much in our own hands and there’s no getting away from that. The disappointing thing is that Blackburn have managed to get a four-game buffer on us and have amassed points during those games, and great credit to them for doing that. Shrewsbury have had an outstanding season that just keeps going, but along the way so have we, and sometimes people don’t feel that. My job is to keep the lads going and come the end of the season what will be will be.
PC on a points target
We started out on about 78 and at the moment it’s a 100, I wish Blackburn and Shrewsbury would behave that’s for sure! We can’t stop other teams having outstanding seasons. We’ve been looking back at certain form lines from last season, and Sheffield United for example were top of our league after 35 games and they had 69 points, we’ve played 33 this year and got 68, so nobody knows what’s going to happen. Tony Mowbray, Paul Hurst, Paul Warne and everybody else will be looking for things to say ‘what if’ but the truth is we don’t know what the future is going to bring. The most important thing for us is concentrating on the Bradford game.
PC on team news
The squad’s outstandingly good and it’s very injury free and in a good place. I’m not a manager who does chop and change and I think our fans have probably seen that over the course of the season. I don’t envisage many changes for Wednesday’s game but there probably will be one or two.
PC on taking advantage of the games in hand
We’ll just keep going because say if we win 3-0 at Bradford it doesn’t mean we’re promoted, and if we lose 1-0 at Bradford it doesn’t mean we’re promoted. I’m a great believer in the fact come 46 games we’ll have amassed an amount of points and what will be will be. If Blackburn and Shrewsbury have finished above us it’ll be because they’ve deserved to. We know we’re in for a very tough game at Bradford and I think it’s Simon’s (Grayson) first home game in charge so I’m sure there’ll be a massive crowd there and a great atmosphere inside the stadium.
PC on Bradford
Simon hasn’t had a game now for a couple of weeks so he’ll have had really good training ground time with his players. He’ll have been hoping to put his stamp on how he wants them to play in relation to the game. They’ve got very good players and we saw that at our place in the first game earlier in the season, but for whatever reason they’re in the position they are. It’s one of those games you look forward to because it’ll be two good teams with lots of good players on the pitch. We don’t know how the pitch will play but we don’t expect it to be in the best condition, so that may inhibit the game a little bit.
PC on a big occasion at Valley Parade
We’ve got Portsmouth away coming up soon which isn’t dissimilar to this one. The games are what they are and there’s 13 games to go. None of us know what’s going to happen, we might need to win four games to get promoted, we just don’t know that and can’t physically say that. What’s most important is that we stay with it and do our best to win the next game.
PC on his team’s form
From my point of view if you’d have asked me at the start of the season if I’d have taken 68 points after 33 games, I’d have bit your hand off and I think every other manager in this division would have too. I appreciate the facts of current form and different things like that but we’ve won 20 games out of 33 so far, so if we can average what we’ve been doing we’ll be very hard to get past.
PC on the Valley Parade pitch
Players adapt to different pitches and different surfaces. I think if you look at Bradford’s team for example they’re very much a footballing side. They’ve got a lot of good footballers so the pitch won’t be helping anyone and that’s not their fault. Blackburn’s pitch was very disappointing last week, but that’s the way football pitches go and you don’t attach any blame to clubs.