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13 December 2018

Paul Cook says he's happy with how Latics have 'found themselves again' in recent matches ahead of his side's trip to Ipswich Town.

  • iFollow Latics - Watch Paul Cook's Ipswich Town preview.
  • The gaffer brings some squad updates ahead of Latics' trip to Portman Road.
  • "We've always had the spirit, it's there for all to see." - Paul Cook.

2019 Half Season Cards

PC on an important stage of the season

"We're just at that crucial stage now approaching the middle of December. There's still so much football to be played before January and points in the division are so tough to get.

"We just want to focus on Ipswich for now. We're going to travel down early in the morning (Friday) and train down there. We want to do our best to win on Saturday and put ourselves in a very good position in the league by the time we play Birmingham City back at the DW.

"I must commend our lads recently. Over the last three or four games they've found themselves again. The spirit has always been there for all to see, but we're playing good football again and showing our movement. We played well at Bolton, we were excellent against Blackburn and we were the better team against Reading and should have won."

PC on Ipswich Town this season

"Paul Hurst went in there at the start of the season and the results didn't go as well as people there wanted in the amount of time he was given.

"They've turned to a very experienced manager in Paul Lambert now. He's got a great CV of managing and success.

"You can see Paul's commitment, passion and desire on the sidelines, he wants to win games and it's there for all to see.

"He's had a lot of success and he conducts himself very well like a lot of the best managers.

"It's a great opportunity for Paul, not many get to manage Norwich and Ipswich do they?"

PC on Saturday's meeting

"They will see this game as a very important game that's for sure. In the position they're in it's so difficult. It's scary how rarely teams get two or three victories in a row in this league.

"Saturday's a bigger game for Ipswich than it us for us, but there's no denying we'll be right up for it. If we win at Ipswich it will put us in a very healthy position in the league.

"I tend not to look at where other teams are in the league because I'm more focused on how we're doing. In other leagues you can look at the fixture list and try to weigh up where you're going to take points, but that's just not the case in this league.

"It's hard to claim every point, not just from a win, but from a draw as well. The league is taking shape now, there are a few teams up at the top end who are looking towards promotion and equally there is a cluster of teams at the bottom end as well with very few points between them."

PC on team news

"We've got to be careful with Gavin Massey," Cook began.

"He's been out for some time now, but he's a strong lad and has always been one of our fittest players, so his early return comes as no suprise.

"He played 45 minutes on Tuesday and he'll be on included on the bench for Ipswich that's for sure.

"We've had more encouraging news as well this week with Michael Jacobs back out on the grass and Chey Dunkley making good progress from his knee injury, but Antonee Robinson is going to be out until February."

With Kal Naismith suspended following his red card against Derby County last weekend, it leaves questions in Latics' left back position, but Cook remains positive:

"Kal came in after Antonee's injury and has done a smashing job. It's unfortunate for him to be suspended, but that's what squads are for and we'll adapt to the situation like we did last Saturday against Derby."

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