Paul Cook hails his side’s Sky Bet Championship survival as Latics beat Preston North End to secure their second tier status on Easter Monday.
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Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook says his side’s Sky Bet Championship survival is an achievement greater than last season’s record-breaking promotion.
A 2-0 victory over Preston North End on Easter Monday followed up Good Friday’s win at Leeds United to secure Championship football at the DW in 2019-20.
And Cook ranks the achievement highly as his side sit safe with two games remaining.
“Good times in football can be so few and far between and for me what we have done today and this season is probably a better achievement than what we did last year because the squad in League One last year was very strong,” Cook explained.
“When you come to this level, though, the world changes and you have so many good teams – none more so than Preston today – and that just shows you the level of clubs around.
“For us it is a great day; we have had so much criticism at times and the criticism can really hurt because we have got a really young team: Lads like Christian Walton, Antonee Robinson, Reece James, Cedric Kipre and Chey Dunkley all playing in the back five from early on and to stay up, I am so pleased for everyone.”
And Cook heaped further praise on his players for the way they have performed under pressure in recent weeks to have lost just once in their last seven fixtures.
“I have always kept faith in the players,” Cook added. “It is not just the players learning, I am learning, the staff are learning and it has been hard because at times if things have gone wrong it’s because ‘You haven’t managed at the level’ or your ‘tactically not right’ but there is so much detail in football now.
“Sometimes, it just comes down to players and for us it has been about managing disappointment and responding to disappointment but boy have our players responded to disappointment, they really have and to put the run together like they have at the end of the season, I absolutely applaud them.”