Cook admits big Pompey regret

Paul Cook is held aloft by the Wigan players after the Latics clinched the League One title on Saturday
Paul Cook is held aloft by the Wigan players after the Latics clinched the League One title on Saturday
Ben Close, left, and Jack Whatmough celebrate Pompey's win at oldham last season/ Picture: Joe Pepler

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PAUL COOK has spoken of his regret in promising to stay at Fratton Park during the aftermath of the League Two triumph.

And he concedes those misjudged words soured his relationship with supporters of a club which he still has affection for.

Moments following the 6-1 victory over Cheltenham 12 months ago, the then-Blues boss told The News: ‘I would never leave this club’.

By the end of the month he was installed as Wigan boss.

In an interview with BBC Radio Manchester Sport on Saturday, following Wigan’s League One title victory, Cook was asked whether he would ‘definitely’ be at the DW Stadium next season.

Yet he admitted he had learnt from past mistakes – and would not be making a comment.

Even today I look back and I was devastated to leave Portsmouth, I really was

Paul Cook

Cook said: ‘I am not going to say things like that ever again in my life, ever again.

‘I got absolutely nailed at Portsmouth last year and that’s something I regret so much because the Portsmouth fans and Portsmouth Football Club is a great club, things changed for me very quickly there.

‘I think that should stay in a place now, I wish Portsmouth every success.

‘It’s a result I look for every week. I have got so many friends down there and good people in that club still and hope they go onto success.

‘But now for me I just want to concentrate on leading Wigan Athletic into the Championship and hopefully staying there for quite a long time.’

Will Griggs’ 26th goal of the season earned the Latics the title at Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.

Requiring a point to claim the crown, his 75th-minute winner was enough, taking them to 98 points.

That left Blackburn in second spot, two points adrift.

Ex-Pompey midfielder Gary Roberts appeared as a substitute in the 90th minute, adding to his League Two title the previous year.

And Cook also referenced Pompey when reflecting on Wigan’s outstanding achievements.

He added: ‘I was lucky enough to leave a Portsmouth squad that was very talented.

‘Even today I look back and I was devastated to leave Portsmouth, I really was, but to come to a club like this (Wigan) and be able to go again, it has been an absolute pleasure, I have been backed by so many people, most of all the players.

‘The results we’ve had all season and now finished off on 98 points, albeit still a tinge of disappointment we didn’t get to 100, but we can live with that now.’