Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook has suggested that the Latics are hoping Chey Dunkley’s injury is not as bad as feared, following the defender being forced off the field late on in their 3-0 win at Reading.
Cook’s side had delivered one of their most complete performances of the season so far against Reading, with the Latics managing to deliver an impressive performance and claim a deserved 3-0 win, to move themselves level on points with Middlesbrough, who occupy the final spot in the table before the relegation zone.
However, Wigan’s impressive performance and important victory was somewhat dampened by the injury to Dunkley, who was only brought on as a late substitute to help the Latics see out the game in the closing minutes, but the defender was involved in a nasty collision that saw him eventually stretchered off after a lengthy delay.
QUIZ: Are these Wigan Athletic facts true or false?
Speaking to Wigan Today following the win at Reading, Cook suggested that his thoughts were with Dunkley and that the Latics are hopeful that the defender’s injury is not as bad as it looked at the time when he was forced off the field.
He said: “It’s a great win, but it’s just been tarnished with the injury to Chey at the end.
“I’m delighted with the performance of the players, to a man they were magnificent.
“But I’d like to keep this short and sweet because it doesn’t look like a good injury for Chey.
“He’s gone straight to hospital, and I can’t think too much about the game at the moment.
“All of our thoughts are with the big man of course.
“But the injury to the big man’s just taken all of the shine of it as far as we’re concerned.
“He’s very, very popular in the dressing room, a real leader at the club. And hopefully the outcome is as good as it can be.”
This is a real blow for the Latics, with Dunkley having been one of Wigan’s most consistent performers throughout the campaign, and the last thing Cook’s side needed when they are starting to gain some real momentum was to see one of their most influential players forced off with a potential lengthy injury problem.
Dunkley has been able to offer a reliable defensive presence at the heart of their defence throughout the season so far, while he has also proved to be a real key threat for Cook’s side in the final third from set pieces, which means his presence will be a real loss over the next few weeks and months, if he is out for a long period.
Wigan, though, have still got the likes of Cedric Kipre and Leon Balogun, who both delivered strong performances in the win at Reading, so Cook will be hopeful that the Latics can continue to remain a difficult side for teams to break down without Dunkley’s presence.
The Latics have done very well to get themselves back into a position where they are in with a real chance of surviving this season, and they will need to show their togetherness once again to cope with Dunkley’s absence and continue their upward momentum.