Sunday 8 December 2019

Hunt hails inspirational Cook for Wigan winning recipe

Former Sligo Rovers manager Paul Cook. Photo: Getty Images
Former Sligo Rovers manager Paul Cook. Photo: Getty Images
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Wigan striker Noel Hunt has hailed Paul Cook as the best manager he's worked under after the former Sligo boss masterminded a famous win over Manchester City.

Cook's stock has soared after he steered the League One side to a remarkable FA Cup success over the Premier League leaders which ended Pep Guardiola's hopes of a domestic clean sweep.

The Wigan boss - an FAI Cup winner with Sligo Rovers in 2010 and 2011 - is now one game away from Wembley, with Southampton up next in the quarter-finals.

Irish veteran Hunt (35) - an unused sub in Monday night's shock success - is a big fan of Cook and followed him to Wigan after winning the League Two title with Portsmouth last season.

"He's the best manager I've worked under by a long way in terms of how he wants to play the game," said Hunt on Newstalk.

"I love his philosophy on football. He goes under the radar an awful lot, but if you look at his record you can see he's doing something right."

Cook admitted he had to sacrifice his usual approach to get the job done against a City side that was always going to dominate the ball with the emphasis on defending stoutly.

"We enjoy having a passing style very similar to what we did at Sligo but when you come up against teams of City's calibre that ethos can go out the window," he said.

Hunt felt that City were affected by Wigan's combative approach and it showed in their reaction to Fabian Delph's dismissal.

"After the sending off Aguero has come over to have a go at our manager and he genuinely didn't do anything so you can see then they were a bit rattled," he said.

"Emotions were heightened when things weren't going their way."

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