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Interviews

WATCH: PAUL COOK SAYS SQUAD MORALE IS HIGH AHEAD OF MIDWEEK TRIP TO ROCHDALE

10 April 2018

Paul Cook looks ahead to Latics' Sky Bet League One trip to Rochdale.

  • Preview: Paul Cook discusses Rochdale v Latics.
  • The latest team and squad news from the Wigan Athletic Training Centre.
  • Cook heaps praise on Keith Hill and his staff ahead of trip to the Crown Oil Arena.

Speaking to iFollow Latics at the Wigan Athletic Training Centre on Monday afternoon, Paul Cook gave his views on Rochdale ahead of Tuesday night's Sky Bet League One trip to the Crown Oil Arena.

PAUL COOK ON... ROCHDALE

"Rochdale got a good win at Bury last week, they beat Shrewsbury 3-1 and they were 3-2 up against Portsmouth going into the depths of the game, it's clear that they're a good side.

"Keith Hill is one of the very best managers in the division and he has been for a long time. He continually gets the best out of his players.

"As a club Rochdale haven't done as well as they might expect, purely on the strength of what Keith has done in the past. I'm sure they'll get out of trouble, but hopefully they won't take three of those points against us.

"You never come away from Rochdale with anything other than a very tough game. It will be tough against them again, every ball will be contested and there will be a ferocious tempo to the game.

"They also play the game in the right way in my opinion with smiles on their faces and they enjoy their football."

PAUL COOK ON... SQUAD HUNGER

"The lads have been great and it's not easy having so many talented players and not being able to use them all.

"The hardest part is leaving substitutes off the bench. Devante (Cole) didn't get on the bench this weekend and neither did Jay Fulton. Jay's previous two games have been wins away at Walsall and Bury, but he hasn't been on the bench. As a manager that side of things is so difficult.

"Great credit has to go to the medical staff and the lads themselves for recovering so well. Every squad member has been fit and available for every game recently.

"Any time we've asked someone to come in they've been great. Over the season it's the squad/group that gets you success if you get any and if you don't get any it's down to the squad and group as well."

PAUL COOK ON... SQUAD MORALE

"The best moment of training yesterday was when James Vaughan missed an absolute sitter and Gary Roberts was rolling around on the floor laughing, so as you can imagine, Vaughany gave him some stick back for what happened on the pitch on Saturday. That's what it's all about, the lads are in a great place, you only have to look at Saturday when Griggy scores his hat-trick goal and Vaughany is jumping up and down on the sidelines. I love that as a manager.

"As a manager my job is to give the lads confidence to go and play. On Saturday we looked like a very confident team, we had strength in depth and everything went well."

PAUL COOK ON... SHAUN MacDONALD

"There's a chance of seeing Shaun before the end of the season, it's just difficult getting games into him at the moment.

"If he was to get some games under his belt it would certainly progress his rehabilitation quicker.

"Shaun's training with the lads every day and he isn't missing out on anything now. He's fit and available for selection, albeit probably just a little bit ring rusty.

"If it comes to stage when we put Shaun on the bench or recall him to start, I'd have no problems doing it that's for sure."

PAUL COOK ON... SHREWSBURY TOWN

"I know they had the disappointment of losing at Wembley, but I'm sure they'll bounce back from that. Paul Hurst and his staff will lift the players quite quickly.

"They're having an absolutely outstanding season. Paul was named manager of the year in our league and it's fully deserved.

"If we are to get to 86 points against Rochdale it will be an amazing achievement with six games to go. It just shows you what Shrewsbury have done this year, and Blackburn.

"Which ever two teams go up they'll thoroughly deserve it and who ever misses out will be very unfortunate."


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