Paul Cook looks back on a difficult defeat at Millwall as the hosts turned the game around at the Den.
- Watch: Post-match with Paul Cook after Latics' defeat at Millwall.
- "You can't give teams legs up in this division." - Paul Cook.
- Cook on a tough night in the capital at the Den.
Speaking to iFollow Latics after his side's 2-1 defeat to Millwall at the Den, Paul Cook reviewed the result.
"It's such a tough place to come," Cook began.
"Millwall put us under real pressure and we were very fortunate to go into half time leading the game 1-0, but you take it.
"The game swings on the penalty for sure, but that's football, it's unforgiving.
"To take control of a game at Millwall is really tough and you have to give Neil and his team credit for the environment they create here."
Latics took the lead in the dying moments of the first half when Lee Evans' free kick was turned into Millwall man Jed Wallace by Kal Naismith for the opening goal, only for the Lions to turn the game on it's head following Latics' missed penalty.
"We put ourselves in a position to win the game tonight and we didn't see it through, that's disappointing.
"The penalty miss galvanised them. You can't give teams legs up in this division and we managed to do that. Some of our play was very naive in terms of the areas on the pitch that we tried to play in.
"If you go 2-0 up at the Den you can imagine how the atmosphere changes, but credit to Millwall, whether they deserved to win the game I'll have to watch back and see, but they certainly didn't deserve to lose the game, that's for sure."
On Latics' away form, Cook added:
"We have the best home form in the division, but we're struggling away from home. The reality is we've come into this league wanting to maintain our status in it and build from there, and that doesn't change.
"We get giddy sometimes when we win and we get flat and down when we don't, that's football.
"Credit to the fans who travelled down. We all leave disappointed, but that's what this division does.
"We're massively disappointed that we haven't taken a point because it would have been a good point. We'd have shook hands with Neil and gone back to Wigan quite happy with a point and moved on, but unfortunately we haven't got that.
"It's very much a rollercoaster ride and you've got to strap yourself in and keep going.
"We go to Sheffield United on Saturday, then it's Leeds United and Middlesbrough. There are no easy games and no hiding places, so we have to go up back to Wigan, regroup and go again."
Latics made three changes to their starting XI from Saturday's 1-0 win against West Bromwich Albion, with Kal Naismith, James Vaughan and Callum Connolly coming in for Gary Roberts, Nick Powell and Nathan Byrne, with Cook explaining.
"Powelly has been feeling a little bit stiff and Gary Roberts and Nathan Byrne played their first full games on Saturday, so we had to make changes.
"They're all difficult managerial decisions because if you win the game everyone thinks it's great, unfortunately we didn't win the game and we take that home with us.
"We've got a lot out of Powelly over the last 16 months and we've got to make sure that we manage him in the right way as we all want him on the pitch every minute of every game.
"Historically that's a bit difficult and you mix in the toughness and intensity of the games. We've got to be careful with him."
On Latics' league position, Cook ended:
"We're in a great league position and we've had a fantastic start. It's great to be in the division, we're not here to just make the numbers up and enjoy the ride."