(Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
For most teams in League One a 1-0 defeat to the league leaders could be taken with a pinch of salt, excuses could be made. ‘Shrewsbury are the early pace-setters.’ ‘They’re playing some great stuff.’ ‘They have one of the best young managers in the Football League.’
But for Wigan boss Paul Cook, the result was a disaster, the first of his Latics reign. This isn’t a manager who is used to losing, recent League Two title campaigns with Chesterfield and Portsmouth tell you that much.
So while some may have seen the positives in their performance at New Meadow on Saturday, Cook was not one of them: “People will look for excuses, but I won’t,” he said.
“It’s the first real disappointment we’ve had in the league. On Saturday, the game huffed and puffed without any real quality in it.
“We were all a bit disappointed after the Portsmouth game last month, especially with the sending off [of Chey Dunkley] which we thought probably cost us the chance to win the game.
“But I would constitute Saturday’s game as being typical of what we’re going to face this season. Teams will want to frustrate us, get men behind the ball and play on the counter-attack. We’ve got to be better than that and be able to compensate for that.”
It’ll be a tough task for the Latics to bounce back at the first time of asking tonight, as they travel to face second place Charlton at The Valley.
And Cook is looking forward to coming up against Addicks boss Karl Robinson: “I like Karl because he’s a character more than anything.
“Nowadays my criticism of coaches and FA products is we’re creating robotic-type people. I think Karl’s very charismatic, and he certainly sends his teams out to play good football.”