Leam Richardson felt Wigan’s draw with Paul Cook’s Ipswich was fair result
Leam Richardson admitted Paul Cook’s first return to Wigan since leaving last summer was always going to be a stalemate as Ipswich held on for a Sky Bet League One point.
Richardson and Cook – who brought success to Chesterfield, Portsmouth and Wigan before being split up eight months ago – predictably cancelled each other out at the DW Stadium.
The result left Wigan still in the relegation zone and Ipswich on the outside looking in to the play-off race, but both friends felt a point each was fair.
“It was destined to be like that wasn’t it?” said Richardson.
“The game ebbed and flowed and took different directions, but on the balance of the 90 minutes a draw was probably a fair result.
“At the minute we’ve got to try and take each and every positive, so we’ll class that as a point gained.
“And the biggest credit you can give these lads is that they’re still here, competing, giving me everything they’ve got.
“Do we lack quality in certain areas? Of course we do, yes, and we have to be a little bit better.
“The final third entries, in and around the 18-yard box weren’t quite good enough on the day, the decision-making and the end product.
“But if you’re not going to win a game, then you make sure you don’t lose – and thankfully we didn’t.”
For Cook, it’s now one win from his first half a dozen matches in charge of the Tractor Boys.
“It was an OK point for us in the end,” he said. “The game lacked quality, from both teams, the pitch was difficult.
“You can make excuses, but we need to be so much better than that. We finished the game very nervy, and I don’t understand that.
“We should be controlling games and opening teams up, putting quality balls into the box.
“Everyone is looking like they are waiting for someone else to do something. I’ve never seen a team like that – we need go-to players who can step up to the plate.
“There’s 10 games left in our season, and we need to get that win on the board that would give us the belief we can make the play-offs.”
Cook also questioned whether his players really believe they can gatecrash the top six despite being only two points off with 10 games to go.
“I’d suggest ‘no’ if I’m being brutally honest,” he added. “I’d suggest they are just waiting for someone else to step up.
“That’s not how I’ve managed throughout my career, and that’s not how I want my teams to play. Home and away, I want to take the game to the opposition, be on the front foot.
“Our supporters watching at home in their thousands will be as disappointed as anyone tonight.
“But all I can tell them is there won’t be a stone unturned, because we want to go up this year.
“We are desperate to get into those play-offs…tonight it doesn’t look good, but tomorrow is another day.”