Cook slams Wigan display in loss to QPR

The Latics boss furious with players.

By Press Association Published: 24 August 2019 - 5.12pm

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Wigan boss Paul Cook was at his “wits’ end” with his players after the 3-1 defeat at QPR and admitted he faces the sack if results do not improve.

The Latics slumped to a fifth consecutive loss despite Cedric Kipre putting them ahead after only two minutes at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.

Rangers hit back with second-half goals from Nahki Wells, Ebere Eze and Jordan Hugill and a clearly furious Cook made it clear afterwards he was reluctant to talk to the media.

He said: “It’s only out of respect for Wigan’s travelling supporters that I’m going to speak.

“I’m always a manager who fully backs his players. But I’m at my wits’ end with them at the moment. That’s nowhere near where we want to be as a team and as a club.

“Supporters clapping you off at the end is what I pride myself on as a manager. They travelled 250 miles and aren’t clapping us off after that, that’s for sure.

“I’m not going to dissect the game. I respect the fact that you [the media] have got jobs to do, but it’s not something I really want to speak about. I’ll end up criticising my players and that’s something I really don’t like doing.

“I know our supporters will be bored of everyone saying the same. I don’t want to become one of them boring, repetitive managers.

“If results stay the same then someone else will be speaking to you. That’s how football is. That’s the nature of the game and how it is.

“I pride myself on my team and how we play. That wasn’t a team I enjoyed watching.”

QPR manager Mark Warburton praised Hugill for keeping his composure and scoring soon after an astonishing miss.

Moments after coming on as a substitute, Hugill was teed up by Wells and contrived to lift the ball over from a couple of yards out.

But the on-loan West Ham striker made amends with a cool finish for Rangers’ third goal.

Warburton said: “All credit to him. What I loved about it was his reaction – it didn’t bother him and then he scores a goal.

“He wanted a goal. All strikers are selfish – he could have passed to Eze – and want to score goals. That’s what makes them a special breed.”

Warburton was less impressed with his side’s missed chances and the early lapse which led to them going behind.

He added: “We conceded a stupid soft goal less than two minutes in, so all your planning and all your work all week goes out the window.

“We spoke about being on the front foot, but we weren’t. They were more aggressive and were the better team.

“We had to respond, move the ball quicker and do everything we’re good at. All credit to the players, they did that.

“The only frustration, and I say this with all respect to Wigan, was that we should have had three or four more.

“There will be games when you have the odd chance and we have to take it. We’ve been guilty in the previous four games of not taking chances.

“So it’s a problem we’ve got to look at – 3-1 is great, enjoy the win, but we need to get better.”