Wigan’s City old boys convinced Canaries will seal Premier League spot

Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook gets his point across in a 1-1 Championship draw against Norwich Ci

Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook gets his point across in a 1-1 Championship draw against Norwich City Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Wigan duo Paul Cook and Anthony Pilkington are both backing old club Norwich City to earn Premier League promotion.

The Latics’ chief had a brief spell as a player at Carrow Road, while Pilkington was a key part of the Canaries’ squad that spent two seasons in the Premier League under Paul Lambert.

Wigan held up City’s promotion charge in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at the DW Stadium, but Cook is adamant it is a matter of if rather than when.

“In a very short space of time Norwich will get the accolades they deserve,” he said.

“I think first and foremost, before games managers have to not lay plaudits but acknowledge what other teams are doing. They are having an outstanding season and they will get to where they want to be which is a fantastic achievement. We picked a team that was designed to do one thing, one job - to press them high up and have the energy to keep doing it.

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“Most teams sit off Norwich, and we didn’t want to do that.

“We want to build a team here and a club that’s going forward, and wins football games on the front foot. Sometimes it comes down to personnel, and when you’ve got personnel of the quality of the striker Norwich have, it’s not always easy.”

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Pilkington missed out on a playing reunion through injury, but the Republic of Ireland international has fond memories of his time in Norfolk and is backing the current crop to emulate his top flight achievements.

“I had three very enjoyable years in the Premier League,” he said, interviewed for the matchday programme. “There is no better place to play football than in the Premier League, so I always thank the club for giving me that opportunity.

“I was lucky enough to play against some of the best teams in the country and the world. I had some really good times there.

“The fan base is brilliant and it’s a really well-run club. Every week was a sellout and wherever we went we always had a good following on the road. I’m sure now it’s very similar to the time I had there.

“It’s good to see them succeeding this season. Hopefully they’ll go on and get promotion.”

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