Points mean prizes to Paul Cook as Wigan boost bid for Championship survival

Wigan boss Paul Cook insists “there’s a lot of hard work still to be done” after his side moved three points clear of the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone with a 2-0 win at fellow strugglers Huddersfield.

In a game of precious few chances, Wigan were fortunate a deflected cross allowed Jamal Lowe to instinctively chest into the net while Anthony Pilkington’s goal against his former club came after Lewis O’Brien got the final touch.

The Latics were just about worth all three points as they carried on where they left off before coronavirus brought football to a standstill, extending their unbeaten sequence to seven matches.

The streak has carried them to 17th but Cook is adamant he is not getting carried away, with the former Portsmouth manager craving points rather than unrewarded performances.

“Every team at this stage of the season knows results are a lot more important than the performance,” he said.

“It was important that we came away from here with something and I felt a point would have been a good point because Huddersfield are a good side with good players. To get a 2-0 win we’re delighted with that.

“The reality was there wasn’t many chances at both ends of the pitch but fortunately we’ve come out on the right side. We travel back knowing that five home games and three away and everything’s in our own hands which is great.

“While clean sheets are great and self-confidence is high the brutal reality is you have got to have more points.

“We’d rather look forward than back so if we’ve been on a great run it doesn’t mean we’re going to stay on a great run. There’s a lot of hard work still to be done.”

This was both sides’ first competitive match back following the resumption of the second tier and Cook admitted he is not a fan of playing behind closed doors.

He added: “Totally unenjoyable. Don’t enjoy it at all, it’s not like a match-day experience, it’s going to be really difficult for everyone and you’ve just got to get your head round it. But it’s so surreal and strange.”

Huddersfield are now looking over their shoulders with just one point and two places separating them from the bottom three after a performance in which they lacked a creative spark.

Town manager Danny Cowley said: “It was disappointing. We were really short of the levels that we’ve got to in recent weeks in the preparation games that we’ve had and also in training. It’s a huge disappointment.

“I don’t want to use any excuses. Individually and collectively, we take responsibility for that and accept the criticism that comes our way.”

As for their position in the table, Cowley is not too concerned.

He added: “Since September when I joined this club, when you only have one point after nine games, you know that you’re going to be in a relegation battle and you know that with eight games to go you’re not going to be out of that relegation battle and you’re going to be in and around it all season.

“It’s going to go to the wire. Nothing has changed in that respect. We need to look at what happened, learn from it and just come back and respond.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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