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8 May 2018

Watch an exclusive interview with Paul Cook after he penned a new four-year deal as Wigan Athletic manager on Tuesday afternoon.

  • WATCH: Paul Cook talks exclusively to iFollow Latics after signing his new four-year contract at Wigan Athletic
  • Cook delighted to commit his long-term future to Latics
  • Cook: “It’s such a nice feeling to know that the club is so active every day when you come in. We’re always trying to better everything that’s going on.”

Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook spoke exclusively to iFollow Latics on Tuesday afternoon after signing a new four-year contract with the club.

Cook, 51, has committed his long-term future to Latics after a very successful first 12 months at the DW Stadium and he was delighted to sign his contract after a special weekend for the club.

“We’re delighted to agree the contract because it’s been going on a little while now,” Cook said. “It’s been such a good year for everyone, not just for myself as manager but for Leam (Richardson), Anthony (Barry), the whole staff, supporters and the Chairman.

“The players have been outstanding and there’s so much going on at the club and so much positivity, so the chance to stay and hopefully consolidate in the Championship is important for me and hopefully then you never know where you could look to go. It’s such a big league the one above and we’ve got to go in there with the belief we’re good enough to get there again one day.”

Whilst Cook, who has won three Manager of the Month awards, has received many accolades, he stressed the success of the club has been a collective effort.

“The staff play a huge part behind the scenes and the good energy comes from them around the training ground,” he explained. “It’s great for me to sit here today as manager when everything’s going well, but dark days are never far away in football and I was very lucky to finish the season last year with Portsmouth on the high that we did, and to have the highs we’ve had here this season has been great and is something that we want to keep going next year.

“Hopefully by committing ourselves long-term to Wigan Athletic Football Club the supporters are all happy about that as well.

“The club is just such a nice fit and this 12 months has been such a smooth run that it’s been scary.

“In football you have some really bad days and we’ve had a few by losing away at Peterborough for example and then against Southend and Blackpool in the space of four days. You can count them on one hand though and we know next year it’s going to be a different kettle of fish, we’re not stupid.

“It’ll be a really tough challenge and the league holds so many perils it’s untrue. This year has gone great and for me now as a manager and we really feel like this is a good club now to put our roots down and be here for a long time to come.

“It’s such a nice feeling to know that the club is so active every day when you come in. We’re always trying to better everything that’s going on and the Chairman is so willing to help and Jonathan (Jackson) is only ever a phone call away. My relationship with the Chairman has been outstanding, it really has and from meeting him for the first time last year it’s gone really fantastically well. To reward his faith in me by giving him my time now was such a simple decision.”

The news comes as a great boost to supporters after being crowned as Sky Bet League One Champions on Saturday and enjoying a special Promotion Party in the Park on Sunday.

“The Party in the Park was excellent and it was just one of those lovely days,” Cook said. “When you have good days you’ve got to enjoy them and Sunday just went off so well and was so well organised from the bandstand to the speeches to the moderate alcohol consumption!

“The sun was shining and the kids of Wigan were especially very happy, and to see so many of them smiling means a lot to me as a manager and for my staff knowing that those supporters are right behind us as we look ahead to the new season.”

On the club’s fans, Cook finished:

“The fans have to play their part and I’ve said for ages now that we need their support when we need it the most and that’s normally when you’re not winning and not playing well.

“The modern day era of football fan now isn’t in my opinion as committed to their clubs as they should be. Supporting your club has highs and lows and it’s those tough journeys home where you’ve said ‘I’m never going again’ or ‘I’m not paying my money’ is all part of it and is the love affair all supporters have with their clubs.

“For Wigan fans and for me as a former player to be able to say that I managed this club to a Championship victory is great and hopefully looking forward I can make the supporters happy again.”

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