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6 October 2017

Assistant Manager talks squad, Scunthorpe and Samy Morsy in his pre-match interview ahead of Saturday's match at Glanford Park.

  • WATCH: Assistant Manager Leam Richardson previews Latics' trip to Scunthorpe United on Saturday.
  • Richardson discusses captain Samy Morsy being away on international duty with Egypt.
  • Richardson: "Scunthorpe are a good club and the people who run the club invest heavily into it, so they want it to be successful."

Latics assistant manager Leam Richardson believes the squad will have benefited from a good week on the training ground as they prepare for a trip to Scunthorpe United on Saturday.

A brace from Will Grigg against Walsall last weekend moved Latics into second place in Sky Bet League One, and Paul Cook’s side will be looking to extend their winning run at Glanford Park.

Richardson is expecting a tough test against the Iron though, and is wary of the threat Graham Alexander’s outfit pose.

Speaking to iFollow Latics, he said: “I’ve played against Grezza [Graham Alexander] and Chris Lucketti’s sides quite a lot and they’ve got some really good players at Scunthorpe. They’ve got a well-balanced squad who are good going forward but are also very solid at the back. I know how Grezza sets his teams up and what he demands off his players so it’ll be a good game for us but a tough one that’s for sure.

“They make you work very hard for results and before a ball was kicked this season we were conscious that they’d be a team who’d be up there at the end of the campaign. It’s a good club and the people who run the club invest heavily into it, so they want it to be successful.”

After a busy period of fixtures recently, Richardson was pleased to be able to have a positive week on the training ground with the players.

“It’s been nice to have a free week because it’s refreshed a lot of the players due to us having a lot of games recently in a short period of time. We came through that patch with a couple of bumps and bruises so it’s been good to get on the training ground and get the lads back fit.

“It depends on the way you look at it really because if you’re a team with momentum you want to play every week, but on the flip side if you’ve had a negative result on a Saturday you want to put that right straight away by playing on the Tuesday. I like midweek games because I think they take care of the week, but also on the other hand it has been nice to have a break after a busy schedule.”

Latics will be without captain Samy Morsy who is away on international duty with Egypt, but Richardson is confident the squad will cope in his absence.

“It’s brilliant for the kid that he’s got a chance to go to a World Cup with Egypt, and I’ve been lucky enough to work with him for quite some time now. He came through at Port Vale and went to Chesterfield as a young lad and is a player who is certainly improving all the time.

“It doesn’t really surprise me that he’s doing so well because he’s got a lot of self-belief and is self-driven, and is just one of those lads who loves to play football. We’re all hoping he can get to the World Cup.

“Any team would miss their captain but that’s what squads are for. The replacements we’ve got are good players who have played hundreds of games during their careers, so it shouldn’t be much of a change for us really.”

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