Paul Cook delighted as Wigan end season with five-match unbeaten run
Wigan manager Paul Cook hailed his players for overcoming their poor away record to finish comfortably clear of the relegation zone.
The Latics ended their first season back in the Sky Bet Championship with a 1-0 home win over Millwall.
Joe Garner’s strike extended Wigan’s unbeaten run to five games, which has seen the club move away from the relegation battle.
And Cook was thrilled his side managed to pull clear of the bottom three despite picking up just 11 points from 23 away games.
“I’m delighted for the players, I really am,” said Cook.
“The home form’s been so good, especially in the latter stages of the season. In fact, it’s probably been up there with some of the teams that have made it to the play-offs.
“Unfortunately the away form – with the same players and the same habits – hasn’t been as good, and that’s been a challenge.
“But to end up with 52 points in this league, it’s such a reward for the efforts we’ve put in as a group and a staff.”
For Millwall counterpart Neil Harris, it was a disappointing way to sign off a campaign that saw them finish just four points clear of third-bottom Rotherham.
The Lions certainly gave a good account of themselves during a lively encounter at the DW Stadium.
But they were unable to translate any of their pressure into goals, with Lee Gregory coming close on several occasions and Ryan Tunnicliffe firing wide from close range.
“I have to say I quite enjoyed the game…as a neutral it was quite entertaining,” said Harris.
“It could have been 4-4 in the end if both sides had taken their chances.
“We created opportunities…there was Ryan Tunnicliffe’s open-goal miss…but it wasn’t to be.
“We played a little bit more expansive football than we have done in the last period.
“I wanted the players to pass the ball a bit more than we have been doing, and I knew it would leave us open at the other end.
“But I thought some of our football was outstanding, we got into some good areas, but didn’t get the ball in the net.
“It’s another close game we’ve lost this season…nothing in the game and yet again we’ve fallen on the wrong side of the scoreline.
“So many times that’s happened this season, and that’s where you need slightly better players than what you’ve got.”
Harris confirmed striker Gregory had played his last game for the club.
“I can only thank him for his efforts while I’ve been in charge,” added the Millwall boss.
“And not just his goalscoring record but his quality as a person…hugely, hugely, hugely popular in the changing room with the players and the staff.
“We’re going to miss him immensely as a club, but he goes with our complete blessing.
“It would be a great signing for somebody.”