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2 March 2019

Boss reflects on goalless draw with promotion chasing Middlesbrough as Latics go five unbeaten in the Sky Bet Championship.

  • WATCH: Paul Cook reflects on Wigan Athletic’s 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough
  • Cook says draw against Tony Pulis’ promotion chasers was a fair result
  • Cook: “When you have Mo Besic and John Obi Mikel in the middle of the pitch, you have to work hard to play and I thought Samy Morsy, Lee Evans and Reece James were excellent.”

Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook felt his side’s goalless draw with Middlesbrough was a fair outcome on Saturday afternoon as Latics went five games unbeaten in the Sky Bet Championship.

Cook’s side had chances either side of half-time through Samy Morsy and Leon Clarke, but equally Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher had good opportunities for the visitors.

Reflecting post-match with iFollow Latics, Cook said:

“You would have to say that was a fair result; Middlesbrough have good players and quality running through their club – including their manager – and we knew we would have spells today where we would have to defend and I thought we defended really resolutely.

“It was going to take a moment of magic from someone to win the game for either side and unfortunately, from a fans’ point of view, neither team could find that but I thought we were good value for a point.

“We wanted to alternate things and we tried to keep two lads up at the top end of the pitch in Windass and Clarke and I thought our lads were excellent today; they worked so hard and when you work that hard you keep getting your points, albeit we’d like to have a couple more points than we have got. There is still plenty of football to be played.”

In terms of Morsy’s chance, Cook said the Egyptian – who sets high standards – will be disappointed not to have scored but that he was delighted with the skipper and his central midfield colleagues.

“It was a great opportunity for Samy Morsy,” Cook added. “It was a lovely bit of link up play and I think Samy will probably be a little bit disappointed that he didn’t score.

“I thought he was excellent today, though, and when you have Mo Besic and John Obi Mikel in the middle of the pitch, you have to work hard to play and I thought Samy, Lee Evans and Reece James were excellent.”

Nick Powell was a notable absentee from Latics’ squad and Cook confirmed post-match it was just a precautionary matter with Powell’s continued recovery from injury.

“Nick trained Tuesday and then missed Wednesday’s session with a bit of illness and we have to make sure when we get Nick back on the pitch that he is fit and ready,” Cook explained.

“Everybody wants Nick in the team, of course they do because he has been such a superstar for us in terms of what he has done for myself, the fans and the club.

“Making sure he is fit with so many games left is so important because he has the ability to win those games.”

Bolton Wanderers H

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