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16 April 2018

Latics boss Paul Cook previews Tuesday night's clash with Oxford United.

  • Preview: Paul Cook looks ahead to Latics v Oxford United.
  • Latics host Oxford United as they enter the final five games of the season.
  • Paul Cook expects much tougher test than December's 7-0 victory.

Speaking to iFollow Latics at the Wigan Athletic Training Centre on Monday morning, Latics boss Paul Cook shared his thoughts on the upcoming Sky Bet League One clash with Karl Robinson's Oxford United.

PC on Rotherham draw

"You only have to look around the country to see Fulham’s result, Accrington Stanley’s result and Manchester United’s result to know that you don’t just turn up and win football games, nobody has that divine right.

"Runs come and go so it’s just about keeping going and come the end of the season the points tally that you get is what you deserve. With five games to go we’re on 87 and we know there’ll be bumps and bruises along the way so it’s all about getting as many points as we can and hopefully it’ll be good enough."

PC on Oxford United’s recent form

"It’s been indifferent but I think Karl will have been delighted with the way they played on Saturday because Southend had been in good form so it was a sold win for them. It’s nice for them to be up and running and it probably guaranteed their safety which is always nice for anyone to achieve with games to go.

"How they come and play on Tuesday is down to Karl and his staff, we’ll just prepare the same way, look forward to the game and hopefully get the three points."

PC on the 7-0 reverse fixture last December

"I think it was a freak result. It was one of those days where everything we hit went in and I’m sure it was probably one of Oxford’s poorer days, but that’s gone now and I’m sure they’ll have been disappointed with the result.

"You’d have to ask them whether or not that will inspire them to do better on Tuesday night, but for us we won’t be looking back at that result because if we start doing that then we’ll find ourselves in trouble. Oxford are littered with very good players and you’ve only got to look at the potency in attack and the threats they carry to know we’re in for a difficult game."

PC on team news

"We’ll just wait and see but what I will say is that we’re very lucky with the squad because whatever decision we make we’ll only do it because we feel it to be right. As a manager you’ve got to look at the data and different stuff we receive and certainly on Saturday it wasn’t an outstanding performance from us without the ball. We’ll look at it and check on all the lads again today to see what sort of team we can patch together and throw out."

PC on Nick Powell

"Nick’s played a lot of games this year and his body is probably getting to a place now where it’s never been before. A bit of fatigue will set in now but that comes with football so again like everyone else we’ll assess Nick.

"We’re aware there’s only five games to go and know the importance of every one of them, but our most important one now is Oxford United.

"We trust the whole squad though because they’ve done very well this year whenever they’ve been called upon. The likes of Gary Roberts, Noel Hunt and David Perkins have always come in and lent their hand to the team, so we’ll be okay with whatever side we put out."

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