Paul Cook looks ahead to Latics' clash with Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in the Emirates FA Cup.
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Speaking to iFollow Latics at his press conference at the DW Stadium on Wednesday morning, Paul Cook took time give his pre-match thoughts ahead of Latics' fifth round Emirates FA Cup clash with Manchester City on Monday 19 February.
PC on Man City
"The reality for us is we’ve got to try and beat them so with the best will in the world to them, everything they do and everyone that comes before them they seem to put away quite comfortably at the moment.
"For us it’s a massive challenge, not just a massive challenge of competing in the game but can we actually take it to them at times. Not many teams seem to be able to do that and if we fall victim to them then we move on to our league campaign.
"I’d like to think though that on the night we can have moments in the game and that we deem this club in a good light."
PC on looking forward to the game
The league is our major concern but everyone at the club has earned the right to have a really good day, but not a good day where we’re celebrating being involved in a big fixture, but where we’re going to celebrate being involved in a really competitive game.
"We have the utmost respect for them and I think everyone in English football does, but we must believe that key moments in the game can go for us. If they’d don’t then that’s football and we’ll wish Man City all the best in the pursuits of all the silverware they’re going for."
PC on how to approach the game
"How can you say it’s just a normal game when you’re going to play possibly one of the best teams in the world at the moment? It’s going to be such a challenge for us all but if we can’t go into the tie thinking we can’t win it, then there’s no point for us.
"We’ll turn all of our attentions onto them now, we’ll watch them, we’ll study them and then we’ve got to come up with a plan."
PC on Man City’s strengths
"To be fair to Pep Guardiola, his players and his club, very rarely do you hear anything about fixtures or travelling, what we hear is that the strongest team gets picked very often and that they keep winning games.
"They’re fighting on all fronts and are winning games at will. It doesn’t matter how teams play against them, whether they press or sit off them, whatever gets offered up to them they just overcome and that’s to do with the calibre of manager, staff and players.
"They’ve got a great appetite for football and they’re an absolute pleasure to watch. After saying all that, we’ve got to try and beat them and it’s a case of acknowledging the fact of who we’re coming up against and giving them the utmost respect while going out there and doing ourselves justice."
PC on his side’s chances
If you break the game down for what it is, the reality is that it’ll be a difficult night. They force everyone back in the end and it doesn’t matter who you are, they seem to have the ability of taking charge of every single game they play, so for us it’s going to be challenging and we know that.
"We want to do our best though and will make it a competitive game as much as we can."