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Match Previews


28 January 2014

Latics in good mood heading to Middlesbrough but Rosler expects tough game.

Ahead of Wigan Athletic’s trip to the Riverside Stadium to face Middlesbrough, Uwe Rosler said the team are in good spirits following their FA Cup victory over Crystal Palace at the weekend and that training has gone well in the days leading up to tonight’s Championship clash.

“We are in a good mood, everyone is confident and we have been building up really well for the game,” he said.

“We’ll travel with a squad of 20 players, one or two players have a few little issues, but there are no major concerns.

“We had a day of recuperation and then we’ve worked on how we’re going to approach the game.

“We’re fully focussed on the Championship now, but we must perform as we did in the FA Cup.

“We had a week to prepare for the Crystal Palace game and we must start performing like that even when we only have a few days to prepare for a game.”

Rosler confirmed tonight’s game is too early for Josh McEachran to make his Latics debut, but he does expect fellow loanee Nick Powell to feature.

“Josh is undergoing a programme at the moment for fitness and I don’t think there is any reason why we should stop it.

“He’s showing progress and he’s very willing to continue the programme and he will really see the benefits of it.

“Nick Powell will definitely travel and he got through the 20 to 25 minutes on Saturday without any problems, so there is a good chance we’ll see Nick on the pitch.”

Expecting a tough test against Middlesbrough this evening, Rosler said:

“Both teams are in relatively good form and at the same level of performance so it’s going to be very interesting, there isn’t much between the two teams at the moment.

“We have experienced players at this club who are getting more and more familiar with the way we play and I’m optimistic that we can perform tonight, but I expect the game to be a very tough one.”

With the busy fixture schedule ahead in February, the gaffer went on to praise his squad for the way they have reacted over recent matches and believes Latics will be ready for the tough task ahead.

“With the heavy schedule we have got it’s all about utilising the squad.

“Players came in for the FA Cup game such as James McClean and he showed the right reaction after not being involved for the Doncaster Rovers game and that’s exactly what I want to see from my players.

“I thought League One was demanding, but in the Championship because of the international weekends everything is even more compact and it makes things very challenging.

“This is why we have built a strong squad and now is the opportunity for everybody to show their worth and show what is needed to finish in the play offs.”

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