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Interviews

PAUL COOK – “IT WILL BE A CELEBRATION FOR AFC WIMBLEDON AND WE’VE GOT TO BE READY FOR THE CHALLENGE”

15 December 2017

Latics boss Paul Cook is well aware of the difficult task ahead of his side after AFC Wimbledon’s Plough Lane news this week.

  • Paul Cook previews Wigan Athletic’s first ever trip to AFC Wimbledon.
  • Latics boss delighted for Neal Ardley and Wimbledon following Plough Lane return news.
  • Ryan Colclough and Jamie Jones absent from Latics’ trip to the capital.

Paul Cook on preparations

“We’re travelling down on the train which is ideal as it gives the lads plenty of time to rest ahead of the game, and ideally, we’ll get three points and have a nice journey back, but I’m sure Neal Ardley and his lads will have something to say about that.

“Our club does everything properly for the players, and the staff are well looked after in terms of professional preparation for every game.”

Paul Cook on AFC Wimbledon’s news of a return to Plough Lane

“Wimbledon have had great success over the years. They’ve had good news this week of going back to Plough Lane and I think that is fantastic for them.  It gives Neal, his players and all of the supporters the news that they’ve been waiting for.

“Wimbledon have had good times under Neal winning promotion at Wembley, but this news is something the club has always wanted.

“They’re going home and tomorrow’s game will be a celebration of that.  Wimbledon will be right up for the game and we’ll have our hands full in a tough match.

“They’re a very competitive team, it won’t be a nice day out for our lads.  Neal has done a fantastic job there coming through and sustaining their success to be a League One team.  It’s a big challenge because it’s not an easy league.”

Paul Cook on Latics’ challenges ahead

“It will be a really difficult test for us.  They’ve got good players.

“The pitches are notoriously not good for everyone at this time of year, so it will be difficult as a passing team to play lovely football, we’re going to have to dig in at times and we’re going to have to work very hard to get any kind of positive result.

“It’s a long season and we must keep going.  The lads are doing great and they deserve all the credit for where we are right now. To be top of the league at this stage is good, it’s where we want to be but it doesn’t mean it’s where we’re going to stay.  To stay where we are is going to be a massive challenge and it’s one the players relish.

“Our supporters know that this is a stage of the season when we might not be pleasing on the eye, it’s not August anymore when the sun is shining and the pitches a lovely to play on, it’s a time of year when our character has to come out and we have to dig deep to get results.

“It’s something myself, my staff and the players are very much aware of and we want to do well for the fans.”

Paul Cook on team news

“Ryan’s had a bit of a temperature for quite a period of time and it made him miss the Fylde game away from home.  He played on Tuesday night but he hasn’t been well since, so he’ll miss the trip this weekend.

“Apart from Ryan and Jamie Jones, we’re full strength for the weekend.”


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