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I Had To Shut My Eyes And Pray – Wigan Boss, Paul Cook

Wigan manager Paul Cook said he had to ‘shut his eyes and pray’ as his League One side ended Manchester City’s hopes of winning the Quadruple by beating them 1-0 in the FA Cup fifth round.

Will Grigg netted the only goal with 11 minutes left as the Latics repeated their win over City in the 2013 final. The Premier League leaders had Fabian Delph sent off just before half-time.

“It feels great. It is such a severe test. They are such a strong side. We rode our luck at times. Our lads deserve credit for their work. Some of the blocks they made were outstanding and to beat Man City you have to do that,” said Cook, BBC reports.


City had 83% of possession in the match and chances of their own, with midfielder Fernandinho shooting over from close range and striker Sergio Aguero drawing an excellent save from Christian Walton.

Asked what was going through his mind in the closing minutes, Cook said: “You just shut your eyes and pray, don’t you?”

The full-time whistle sparked scenes of celebration from the home fans, many of whom ran onto the pitch to celebrate.

Guardiola congratulated Wigan, who will face Southampton in the quarter-finals on the weekend of 17-18 March.

The Spaniard added: “It was like a final. They had one shot on target. I don’t have regrets with the way we played, the performance, the heart. I judge my players on intentions and not results and the intentions were good.”

Wigan are third in League One, three points behind leaders Blackburn Rovers with three games in hand. They came into the City game having lost back-to-back league matches for the first time this season.

“Funnily enough, when the draw was made, no-one even texted each other,” said Cook. “It was like we weren’t in it.

“I am sure Southampton are as shocked as we are because they were probably thinking how disappointed they were to have to go to the Etihad.

“Fortunately for us all, that game will come around, and it is a fantastic game for everyone. We are a game away from Wembley. What an occasion it will be for us all.

“We have to concentrate on the league, and now the FA Cup becomes a massive distraction. But we are in it.”

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