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PAUL COOK: "WE HAVE AN EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY TO STRENGTHEN ALL OF OUR STATISTICS."

24 April 2018

Paul Cook looks ahead to his side's trip to Bristol Rovers, as Latics aim to strengthen their grip on Sky Bet League One.

  • Preview: Paul Cook on Bristol Rovers v Wigan Athletic.
  • Latics boss has full respect for the Gas and manager Darrell Clarke.
  • Cook looking to build on promotion celebrations at Fleetwood Town, with the Sky Bet League One title in sight.

Speaking to Wish FM at the Wigan Athletic Training Centre on Monday morning, Latics boss Paul Cook said his side's trip to Bristol Rovers is the perfect opportunity to strengthen everything they have worked for already this season, following promotion to the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday against Fleetwood Town.

PAUL COOK ON SATURDAY'S PROMOTION

"It was a great weekend. It's one of those moments in life when you sit back and say "wow I enjoyed that".

"It was a perfect day, the sun was shining, supporters took part in a great challenge of walking to the game on the Friday and then the Saturday morning for Joseph's Goal.

"We enjoyed Saturday night with the players. We came back to Wigan and enjoyed a good night out, everyone had a good time. We can park the celebrations now completely whilst we focus on the job which is to try and win the league."

PAUL COOK ON THE LEAGUE TITLE

"It's a big thing for me, but if we don't win the league it will be great credit to Blackburn and I will be the first to congratulate them.

"In the midst of the FA Cup run it was spoken about how our games will catch up on us, but these lads have been unbelievable and they've bounced back from everything that's been thrown at them.

"We're now going into a three-game spell in which we can clinch the league title if everything goes our way and it's something myself and the players would really like to do for the supporters.

"I've said it all season, what you get is what you deserve and we've never changed our attitude from that.

"We have an opportunity now, with the away record being as strong as it is, to strengthen all of our statistics. Can we get to that magical 100 points which is an unbelievable target for any team?

"It's always good to have a target, albeit we can speak more openly about it because we've been promoted and that sense of relief is there for everyone."

PAUL COOK ON BRISTOL ROVERS

"Bristol Rovers is always a tough place to go to and Darrell is a bright young manager who has had an outstanding time with his club so far.

"Darrell always puts an attacking team out because he's a very positive manager. He likes to have his two lads up front and Bristol Rovers always get after teams.

"We're under no illusions how tough it will be on the night, but if we can get the win then it gives us a great chance to win the league at home on Saturday. If we don't win then we get on with it, you know me, that's how I always approach things, but what a good day it would be at the DW Stadium on Saturday if we do win on Tuesday night.

"It would be such a good day to get a big crowd in on Saturday and celebrate in front of our own fans with everyone and their families. It would be great, but if not, we carry on."

PAUL COOK ON TEAM NEWS

"There will be one or two changes from Saturday. We can't keep going with the same team Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday as this time of year.

"Michael Jacobs was rested on Saturday with the intention of bringing him on at 60 minutes. It was good because we spoke to Michael and said we're okay in the game so you can have a full rest. Michael Jacobs comes back into the team against Bristol Rovers, that's the luxury that we have in our squad.

"On Saturday Gavin Massey, Gary Roberts and Max Power were excellent. Gary especially was superb.

"The reception David (Perkins) got when he came on was unbelievable and he got stuck in straight away. Perks is a massive member of this squad, he's a really popular guy in the dressing room and right through the club and supporters, and I'm sure we can get him onto the pitch in the last three games. Whether we can get him to that 100 appearances milestone is yet to be seen.

"Jamie Walker came on and looked lively and that shows how many options we have because we're a good club and have a good squad."

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