12th Man – Cook’s men answer the critics


Paul Cook

Paul Cook and his players answered the critics with a comfortable 3-0 win against Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night. It was pleasing to get back to winning ways as the moaners and groaners had been out in force since Saturday’s first home defeat to Bradford City.

Bradford will be in the promotion mix at the end of the season and they produced one of their best away performances. The match could easily have gone either way but just when it looked as though it would end in a draw the Bantams scored an injury time winner.

All Latics’ fans were disappointed with the result but some of the post match comments about Cook and the team really do beggar belief.

Some so-called fans on social media have gone to extreme lengths and have been calling Cook clueless, spreading malicious rumours about the manager and sending abusive tweets directed at individual players, which can only be harmful to the players’ confidence.

The fans are entitled to an opinion but this type of behaviour goes beyond what is acceptable and can only damage the club’s prospects.

Some of the fickle fans were absent from the game on Tuesday despite the Bradford game being Latics’ first defeat in the league at the DW Stadium in eight months.

It made for a few more empty seats but at least the atmosphere was less negative.

Paul Cook had rightly identified the negativity at the DW Stadium during the game against Bradford and prior to the Doncaster game he made an accurate assessment of the current situation.

“Nowadays there’s so much negativity around the game, it’s quite sad really, but we can’t change that. All we can focus on is the fact we’re only 17 games into a 46-game season, and there will be plenty more disappointments along the way, but our job is to get as many points as we can and hopefully that comes with a win tomorrow night.”

In contrast to Cook’s levelheadedness, his critics really do need to get a sense of perspective. This is Latics’ best ever start to a league campaign, they are second in the League One table, with the most goals scored and fewest conceded and yet still some of the fans aren’t happy.

I’m sure in the long term Cook’s approach will be fully vindicated and the progress which the club has made under his management will be properly recognised.

In the meantime Latics come up against former player Paul Warne’s Rotherham United tomorrow and they could go top if results go their way, but whatever the result Cook won’t be getting too carried away as there are still plenty of games to play.

This article was first published in the Wigan Evening Post on Friday 24th November 2017.

About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Bradford City, League One, Paul Cook, Rotherham United, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to 12th Man – Cook’s men answer the critics

  1. Barry says:

    Well said Ian, personally I’d have gone with your piece as the lead ‘letter’, makes a lot more sense

  2. Derek Sharples says:

    Think that your all missing the point here.It isn’t just because we lost the game against Bradford that Paul Cook has received,criticism . This has been coming for weeks. The performances against Crawley, Blackburn, Plymouth and Northampton all at home have been pretty dire and boring to watch but he has escaped the criticism because we won three out of those 4 games by the odd goal. I have watched Latics for over 50 years and i was one of the 1200 spectators on Springfeild Park when we had our lowest ever Football League crowd. I will always support them no matter what but even I was getting fed up of watching the type of football we were producing under Paul Cook. One thing is certain however, is we wont improve our crowds with performances of late. Yes the game against Doncaster was a huge improvement but lets not get carried away im certainly not

    • ianhaspinall says:

      Thanks for your feedback. Interestingly I’ve supported Latics for 51 years and seen some poor teams and poor managers during that time but we now have a manager and team that is successful and is likely to be promoted. I’ve been to most games home and away this season and we have played attractive football while getting results. As I said in the article we have scored the most goals in the division and conceded the least so it’s hard to comprehend your criticism. Some of the vitriol directed at Paul Cook and the players is unacceptable and can only damage our chances of success.

    • Barry says:

      Wow Derek!…Crawley was in the cup, Plymouth and Northampton congested play and packed their defence, teams aren’t going to turn up and roll over, Blackburn was a decent game for a goalless draw, following on from Warren Joyce and his football this new regime has quite simply rejuvenated my appetite for the Latics, if you are getting fed up with watching 3-0 home wins, stats that have us with 20+ attempts per game and genuine attacking football then last season you must have been ready to chuck it all in!
      We are second in the table, not a single penny spent on transfer fees during the summer, just enjoy….oh and I was there for the 1200 game but they werent giving out medals

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