Cook ded­i­cates win to re­dun­dant staff

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football - By Adam Lani­gan at DW Sta­dium

Wi­gan are one of the form teams in the Cham­pi­onship and they will need ev­ery bit of that form to over­come the loss of 12 points af­ter go­ing into ad­min­is­tra­tion.

As ques­tions re­main unan­swered as to how the 2013 FA Cup winners have ended up in such a po­si­tion, Paul Cook, the man­ager, and his play­ers de­servedly saw off the chal­lenge of QPR for three vi­tal points.

Af­ter a 3-0 loss at Brent­ford on Satur­day, days af­ter di­gest­ing the news, this was more like the Wi­gan who have picked up 21 points from their past 10 games.

The ta­ble is not sup­posed to lie, but in Wi­gan’s case, it sim­ply does not tell the true story. The points de­duc­tion only ap­plies to the fi­nal stand­ings, so rather than push­ing mid-ta­ble as they should be, they are firmly in the bot­tom three.

In re­al­ity, they are four points adrift of safety with four games left and face games against the two sides cur­rently oc­cu­py­ing 22nd and 23rd places, Hull City and Barns­ley re­spec­tively, in the next six days.

Fans in these parts be­came used to great es­cape acts dur­ing their time in the Pre­mier League, mas­ter­minded by Paul Jewell and Roberto Martinez, but beat­ing the drop to League One would top that list.

How­ever, rather than fo­cus on foot­ball, Cook re­flected af­ter­wards on the hu­man cost of events of the past few days, with 75 mem­bers of staff los­ing their jobs at the club.

“That win is for Wi­gan, the town and the peo­ple who have been made un­em­ployed,” he said. “This week has been the tough­est week of my ca­reer, but I’m lucky to still be in work. We were flat when we lost at Brent­ford, but not as flat as those who have lost their jobs.” Wi­gan’s predica­ment had al­ready got worse be­fore kick-off, fol­low­ing Mid­dles­brough’s win at Millwall, which had put a fur­ther point be­tween them and sur­vival.

But there was real in­ten­sity from the off and that ur­gency even­tu­ally brought its re­ward fol­low­ing dy­namic play from cap­tain Sam Morsy to slip in Ki­ef­fer Moore, and the Welsh in­ter­na­tional fired into the roof of the net.

Wi­gan’s for­ward should have made it safe early in the sec­ond half, but he curled wide of the far post af­ter mak­ing space for him­self in the area.

And they needed goal­keeper David Mar­shall to pre­serve the ad­van­tage on the hour mark with a smart save from Ilias Chair in a rare QPR at­tack. But any­thing less than a home win would have been un­just, and the strength of feel­ing from the play­ing staff at the fi­nal whis­tle un­der­lined how im­por­tant the evening was to this proud club.

Cru­cial strike: Ki­ef­fer Moore fires Wi­gan’s win­ner past QPR goal­keeper Joe Lum­ley

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