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21 August 2018

The gaffer looks ahead to Latics' clash with Stoke City, brings the latest news on squad availability and shares his thoughts on Potters boss Gary Rowett.

  • Preview: Paul Cook's pre-Stoke City press call.
  • Latics boss looks ahead to his side's trip to the bet365 Stadium.
  • Latics without Darron Gibson, Joe Garner and Dan Burn.

iFollow Match Pass Stoke City v Wigan Athletic
Speaking to iFollow Latics at the Wigan Athletic Training Centre on Tuesday morning, Paul Cook gave his thoughts ahead of his side's Sky Bet Championship trip to Stoke City.

PC on recent performances

"The lads are playing really well at the minute and to create the chances they're creating against these strong teams is great credit to them.

"We know the flip side of that with conceding goals at the other end, but that's the trade off in football sometimes."

"The key for us so far this season is the mistakes that get punished and that's what the difference is with the Championship. Last year in League One if we made a mistake or two in games then on occasion we'd get away with it. We can't get away with that now that's for sure.

"You only have to look at the calibre of player we've faced so far, whether that's Forestieri from Sheffield Wednesday, Kodjia from Aston Villa or Grabban at Nottingham Forest, the standard of player in every game is very good."

PC on Gary Rowett and Stoke City

"Gary Rowett like every other manager has gone into a club and slowly but surely he'll change it to how he wants it to be.

"Nowadays through the media it's like we're trying to cram football into a week.

"Stoke are a relegated team and there will always be disappointment from relegation, there will always be a sense of change with a new manager and Gary is very well equipped to get that right.

"At the end of the day we're all doing our best to win football matches. Gary is no different from myself and Steve McLaren who we'll come across on Saturday at QPR, we all just prepare as best we can.

"Stoke have got a lot of quality, we know the threats they carry through certain individuals. We know it's going to be a difficult night and it's one that we've got to be very careful of.

"I've come up against Gary before when he was at Burton Albion and I was at Chesterfield. He's a great lad and he's done fantastically well in his managerial career. Gary goes from strength-to-strength and I'm sure given time at Stoke, Stoke will become the team that everyone wants them to be."

PC on fitness and injuries

"We've no new concerns injury wise. We're well aware that the games are coming thick and fast. Nathan Byrne came back into the squad on Saturday, the bench is very strong and we're training really well.

"We've got a lot of smiling faces around the club at the moment which is very nice to see. Sometimes you can't win every game, but you can certainly equip yourself properly.

"I imagine we'll see more of Dan after the international break and probably the same with Joe Garner who is going through a programme of fitness and getting himself up to speed.

"Darron Gibson is just starting the early stages of his recovery from his groin injury. He was expected to be out for a month and we're coming up to half of that now, so fingers crossed he'll also be back available after the international break."

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