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Interviews

WATCH: PAUL COOK ON ROTHERHAM UNITED, THE PROMOTION RACE, INJURY NEWS, WILL GRIGG AND JAMES VAUGHAN

13 April 2018

Latics boss Paul Cook discusses the Sky Bet League One promotion battle ahead of Saturday's clash with Rotherham United.

  • Preview: Paul Cook's thoughts ahead of Latics v Rotherham United.
  • The gaffer gives the latest team news and his views on the squad.
  • Latics boss discusses Paul Warne's Millers.

Speaking to iFollow Latics at the Wigan Athletic Training Centre on Friday morning, Paul Cook shared his thoughts on the latest goings on in Sky Bet League One, Saturday's opposition Rotherham United and his forward options following a period of nine goals in two games.

PAUL COOK ON RECORDS

"I'm not a manager to sit and say 'we're doing great' or the opposite if things aren't going well I won't go in too heavy, we just keep working away until we achieve our aims.

"After you get past that finish line, then is the time to reflect on records and achievements, goals scored, goals conceded and points achieved etc.

"With six games to go now is not the time for reflection, although when you go past markers like 100 goals great credit has to be given to the players."

PAUL COOK ON NICK POWELL

"Nick's Nick, it wouldn't be a Friday without us all worrying about Nick would it? Powelly is having an outstanding season, not just in his general play, but in the goals scored. One of the most impressive things about Tuesday night was when we lost Nick, James Vaughan came off the bench, scored and we looked equally as threatening.

"What will be will be with Nick, the chances are that he'll be fit, but if he's not fit then we know we've got plenty of players champing at the bit to play."

PAUL COOK ON STRIKING OPTIONS

"I'd be a brave manager not to play Griggy and Vaughany, and I'm not that brave that's for sure.

"We have these options and that's good to see. As a manager i've always ideally liked to play with one up front because it creates an overload in the middle of the pitch for us to dominate the ball, but when you have two strikers with the quality that we have, sometimes you have to play them both.

"We've also got Devante Cole and Noel Hunt who can come in on the bench, so our fire power is very clear for all to see."

PAUL COOK ON ROTHERHAM UNITED

"Paul (Warne) took the job in the Championship at a very difficult time, I think he'll feel a lot more comfortable in that seat now. At one time this season they were playing so well and getting the results that they looked like they could genuinely force their way into the top two. That's great credit to Paul and his staff, they're in the midst of a good season, albeit they'll be a play-off team which in my opinion is great success for Paul.

"What Paul, his staff and his players do against us is up to them, in our minds we're just looking forward to another game and we'll approach it in the same manner that we always do.

"They've had a good season off the back of last year's relegation and it can be tough because club's go through different circumstances following relegations.

"Every relegation team has some kind of hangover, it's not easy for any football club. Rotherham did what mosts teams don't tend to do which is they kept the manager.

"In my opinion that's always been the right thing to do, but football doesn't seem to work that way. Paul knows his club and players very well, no different to Tony (Mowbray) at Blackburn. They're both having good seasons, but to date that's all it is because the most important thing is the end of the season."

PAUL COOK ON THE PROMOTION RACE

"We all have a tally and points target and for most teams 90 points has ended in promotion, but unfortunately for this year it looks there could be three teams to go past 90 points and it won't guarantee promotion.

"For us, we genuinely try to take each game at a time, if we don't get three points we simply move on to the next game and work harder.

"When the finishing line gets in sight the objectives become a lot more clear for most teams.

"It's been a long season for everybody, people try and anticipate what's going to happen, but none of us know. There are so many twists and turns in football and there are bad results waiting for every team, that's the nature of the game.

"We can only focus on going along as we have been. The lads are training well and working hard, so we just carry on doing what we're doing."

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