Paul Cook confident Wigan can stay up

Posted Thursday, January 02, 2020 by PA

Paul Cook confident Wigan can stay up

Wigan manager Paul Cook insists his side can win their survival fight and drag other teams into trouble after their 3-2 victory at Birmingham.

The Latics won the first away game in 15 attempts since beating Leeds in April to move off the bottom of the Sky Bet Championship and within a point of safety.

“I feel confident we can get out of trouble,” said Cook. “I’ve watched us play too many times now (to think otherwise).

“If we do in the second half of the season what we’ve done in the first half, and we learn from the mistakes, the reality is we won’t be in trouble but that’s a long way off.

“At this stage the league is quite tight and teams can be dragged in because if teams at the bottom start winning, you are in trouble and teams will be looking over their shoulder.

“We can certainly cause most teams problems and over a season the league table doesn’t lie.

“We create chances, we have got pace, energy and legs. We are on 23 points and we’ve got to make sure we get a points tally other teams will find hard to beat.

“If you win football games you won’t be in trouble.

“We’ve just got to keep going. We’ve lost so many games in the last minute and stoppage time, it’s untrue.”

Striker Josh Windass opened Wigan’s account after nine minutes and had a hand in the other two.

Kerim Mrabti’s first goal at St Andrew’s equalised for Blues in the 39th minute.

But Gary Gardner’s own goal five minutes after the restart and a Cedric Kipre effort after 73 minutes sealed it before substitute Jacques Maghoma pulled one back for Blues late on.

Birmingham have won one in 12 and are now six points above the relegation zone in 18th.

Head coach Pep Clotet admits ending their run is a challenge but is fully confident he can turn it around.

“It’s a challenge because we’re having a bad run and we need to put our hands up for it,” he said.

“But there are a lot of things that give me confidence; this club has been struggling much more in the recent past than it is now.

“I have full trust in the players, but it’s about getting them back mentally and fighting back again because they do have the right attitude.

“I’m massively confident we can turn things around. We have experience in the squad of being in bad situations.

“We’re also scoring more goals than we were a couple of months ago, so I’m very confident.”

Clotet will have centre backs Jake-Clarke Salter and Marc Roberts back from injury soon after being forced to play midfielder Gardner at the back against Wigan.

“Next week we will get the players back in the position that we’ve been struggling in for a month and a half almost,” he added.

“Then together we will fight for every point and things will take care of themselves.

“Gary can defend because he’s good in the air and has played there earlier this season.”

Regarding his team’s display, Clotet admitted: “We had a bad performance and we didn’t perform to the levels we did against Leeds on Sunday.”





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