Jack Ross was shown the door by Sunderland on Tuesday and the North-East club are looking to replace the Scotsman.
Paul Cook has been identified as one of the leading candidates for the Sunderland job but will have to be persuaded to drop down to League One if he takes the role at the Stadium of Light.
Cook, who took over at the DW in May 2017 after the Latics were relegated to League One, managed the club to promotion to the Championship and has kept the club in the second tier of English football since.
Cook’s reputation and importance has grown due to the job he has done at Wigan, and naturally there, are clubs keeping an eye on the former Portsmouth manager.
Here are THREE reasons why Wigan must stand firm and retain Cook despite the interest from Sunderland…
Wigan Athletic aren’t expected to set the league alight, no disrespect to them. A campaign focussed on staying in the division or trying to finish around mid-table is what they have to aim for considering their budget restrictions and the nature of the league.
Paul Cook represents the consistency at the club, a manager change could go either way but Wigan, as it stands, don’t look like a club struggling or threatened by relegation although only being about a quarter of the way through the campaign.
So a change now could potentially make their situation difficult.
Damage to the squad morale
Losing the manager during the season based on being taken by another club rather than being sacked due to poor results can easily hurt the squad.
Players who have bought into Cook’s methods and players he brought to the club to work under him will not want to see him leave and may struggle – at least initially it could cause issues at the club with a potential change of philosophy.
A new manager and a fresh approach can help a club devoid of confidence but that doesn’t seem to be the case at the DW.
Unpopular with fans
Cook, depending how the majority will see it, has been successful during his time at Wigan, taking the club up to the Championship in his first season, and building a team that can compete and stay in the division is no mean feat.
Football is a results business and fans may want more from their side and their manager.
However, Cook leaving the club during the campaign may not go down well with fans who have been reconnected with club thanks to the work done by the manager.