Paul Cook: Wigan Athletic boss 'physically sick' after points deduction triggers relegation

Dejected Wigan players
Wigan finished second from bottom of the Championship after having 12 points deducted for going into administration, subject to an appeal

Boss Paul Cook felt "physically sick" after Wigan Athletic's Championship relegation - by an administration-triggered 12-point deduction - followed Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Fulham.

The Latics have appealed against the penalty, which was applied at the end of the current campaign.

It saw Wigan fall from 13th in the table with 59 points to second-from-bottom on 47.

"We're hurting as you can imagine," Cook told BBC Radio Manchester.

"We've just got to keep hold of our dignity at the minute because it's painful.

"The support staff around the stadium who've kept coming in and working and keeping us going - I feel physically sick for everyone.

"I felt the team did as well as they could. I felt we created chances continually in the second half and we just needed one of them to drop and unfortunately it didn't."

Off-field issues completely unravelled Wigan's season, following the takeover of the club by Next Leader Fund (NLF) in June.

Former chairman Dave Whelan had only sold his share to Hong Kong-based International Entertainment Corporation in November 2018.

Within one month of the NLF deal being completed, Wigan were placed into administration, a move which has since forced the redundancy of 75 staff and brought about pay cuts for staff and players.

Going into administration undermined the work Cook had done in galvanising a Wigan side that were bottom of the table at New Year but which then went on a remarkable run of results, started by beating Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 at the DW Stadium on 28 January.

It was the first of 10 wins and just two defeats in 18 games during the second part of the season which had dragged the club out of the relegation places.

Not even the recent troubles hampered their form, with Brentford the only side to take maximum points against them since the post-Covid-19 resumption.

"I've just got to say how proud I am of the players," Cook added after the draw with a Fulham side that went into the game still with a chance of automatic promotion.

"The disappointment that they're [the players] feeling is because they feel they've done something wrong, which is so sad for the dressing room because they've done nothing wrong."

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