It's The Paul Cook Derby As Wigan Host Portsmouth This Weekendby Simon Lillicrap / 23 August 2017, 10:43Tweet
It will be a less than warm welcome for Paul Cook this weekend as his former side Portsmouth visit the DW stadium. Portsmouth fans have been less than forgiving of their former boss since his switch to League One rivals Wigan in the summer and this encounter should be a feisty one, with both clubs harbouring ambitions of promotion this season.
So has the 52-year-old’s decision been justified so far?
Wigan Athletic are currently top of the league with three wins from three and have only conceded one goal this season. Paul Cook seems to have access to a stronger squad as Wigan were relegated from the Championship last season and certainly have strengthened this summer.
Cook had been given the base ingredients to build a title-winning squad but has invested well in the loan market this summer bringing in players such as Ivan Toney, Lee Evans and Christian Walton.
This could prove to be Wigan’s toughest test so far this season, they won impressively away at MK Dons on the opening day and have also defeated Oldham and Bury in August. Pompey will be well up for this game against their former gaffer and as always with the south coast club, they should take a large following up north.
So how have Pompey faired in Cook’s absence? Well, one win, one draw and one loss has them placed 13th after three games. Their new boss Kenny Jackett is a well-respected manager with great experience in England’s lower leagues with Swansea, Millwall and Wolves. At Wolves, he won the League One title with 103 points, a league record. His short time at Rotherham last year (39 days) led to him taking a short break from the game before re-joining the managerial roundabout this summer.
Looks like Portsmouth fans still haven’t forgiven Paul Cook... pic.twitter.com/jheQ7faLc8— The Sportsman (@TheSportsman) August 22, 2017
Pompey fans had great memories of winning the League Two title under Paul Cook on the final day of last season but these were soured when he left to join Wigan just 25 days later. These two clubs are not the most traditional of rivals, but thanks to Paul Cook, this Saturday, the DW Stadium will be a fierce place to be.