WIGAN Athletic boss Paul Cook was left crestfallen after his side let a 2-1 lead slip to allow Reading FC to leapfrog them in the Championship table.

The visitors were cruising with seconds left in normal time and had a six-point lead over Royals after goals from Nick Powell and Joe Garner.

But Jose Gomes' side stunned The Latics, as Mo Barrow's long-range strike and Yakou Meite's header secured an unlikely comeback at the death.

Cook did his best to avoid criticising the referee after the game and insisted his players deserved to come away from the match with something.

Here is what he had to say after his side were beaten 3-2 at the Madejski Stadium:

"What can you say? How can you best describe it? You don’t feel good. Going towards the 90th minute we look all but home, we’ve only got to see the game out and then we travel back with a great result. Unfortunately, we haven’t managed to do that for whatever reason.

"I am certainly not going to come here and start criticising referees. I have never been into that after the game. Referees have a tough job in football today, albeit were they tough decisions? I am not so sure they were, but that’s football.

"We were disappointed. Reece James has gone down and I think it is quite clear for everyone to see. The referee drops the ball to us, we give it back to their goalkeeper out of respect and we go again.

"Morsy is out of position, Reece James is off the pitch, they’ve got lads in the middle of the area and it never went back to the goalie. Reading scored a good goal, smashing finish by the lad. Is that correct and right? We don’t feel so.

"I have just been with the referee for 10 minutes. I’ve had my say, he’s had his say. I would be a strong advocate of trying to support referees, albeit this is probably as low as I have felt with them while I’ve been a manager.

"I thought we were full value for something out of the game for sure. We never sat off Reading, we got after them. I thought it was a good game. Wigan can feel hard done by, but that’s football.

"I don’t want to start getting controversial, that’s not my style at all. My style is to try and have a bit of respect after the game, lick our wounds and move on. But I think the key for us is that if we replicate those types of performances, we won’t have a problem staying in the league.

"I just can’t turn my attention to other games at the minute. That’s still fresh in the mind and you’ve got to be able to dissect it and digest and that’s really hard at the minute. Going into the last minute of both halves we were so comfortable and yet minutes later it’s all gone wrong. Let’s get over that first and then we look towards the Blackburn game on Tuesday night.

"For every manager you’ve got to say can your players do more in the game. Our players couldn’t have done any more today. Referees will always make decisions, good or bad. One of the things I enjoy about football is that we end up debating the points after games. Today they have gone brutally against us, they really have. But that’s football.

"At that moment it time we are six points above Reading, we are probably looking in a really strong position to stay up. Wigan fans travel home happy and everyone’s good in the world. Unfortunately, a couple of minutes later, it’s all gone wrong. With one central midfielder out of position, the other central midfielder waiting for the ball to be dropped to him and Reading score from that area that we’d been so strong all afternoon.

"Reading are a very good attacking team, they play very good football, they attack through the central areas of the pitch well. At that point we didn’t have a central midfielder in a position. We played well and we’ve got to stay with that. We’ve got to have that belief, because if we’d have left today winning, we still wouldn’t have been staying up. Just because we lost the same thing applies.

"I don’t want to be critical of the referee. I want to be supportive of referees. I think it is huge that we support them. I don’t think we had a bad player today. It is big incidents in the game that have led to Reading goals and unfortunately it has gone against it. The referee has got the whistle in his mouth, our lads can’t control the whistle. I do feel he controls the football game.

"If he wasn’t comfortable with the last incident in the 90th minute, blow up, drop it to Wigan, give Reading the ball back; let’s play the game the right way, that never happened today."