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28 November 2018

Latics boss Paul Cook looks ahead to 'healthy' rivalry with Blackburn Rovers.

  • Watch: Paul Cook's Blackburn Rovers' preview.
  • Latics boss discusses upcoming Sky Bet Championship clash, injuries and the January transfer window.
  • "We've gone through a transition of ownership and now we're building towards reaching January." - Paul Cook.

Blackburn Rovers H
Cash turnstiles open on the East and South Stands.

PC on Blackburn Rovers

"Blackburn have had an excellent start to the season and I'm sure Tony Mowbray will be delighted with his players. I read his comments after the game at Preston and he was absolutely bang on.

"They didn't do a lot wrong in the game and it's not the end of the world for them.

"They've had a good start and very much like us their status in the league and moving forwards will be key. Tony has done an excellent job to date.

"It's a nice healthy rivalry based on competing in the league. Sometimes rivalries can go down routes you don't want to go down.

"Our rivalry last year saw us both competing for the League One title, fortunately for us we managed to win the league. There was very little between us during the run in and it was a toss of a coin at times with us being in the FA Cup for so long.

"Blackburn got a little bit of a leap on us through playing more games, but great credit to our lads for sticking at it and getting us over the line."

PC on Reading result

"I was pleased with our solidity without the ball on Saturday and the fact that we cut out individual errors.

"Most managers will now be looking towards January. There's a lot of football to be played before then, so we are very much concentrating on the here and now, with what we want to achieve this season in mind.

"The result against Reading was a small step for all of the above. Every point in the league is tough to get, so when you get one, you're happy enough, but the target in every game is obviously to win all three from the start."

PC on planning for the future

"There's so much going on at football clubs these days in terms of targets and the future, and there's a lot of planning that goes into it all.

"Football for me is about exactly that, planning and believing in what you do.

"We've gone through a transition of ownership and now we're building towards reaching January. Ideally we'll strengthen, but we won't just be saying 'oh we're going to bring players in and everything is going to be great', that's not football. We've got a really good squad of players so we'd only do business if it improved the team."

PC on squad availability

"Jedi (Antonee Robinson) has had an operation and it will see him out for 10 weeks. The reality is we haven't got a left back. Kal Naismith did really well on Saturday, but anyone in their right mind would think we're going to have to bring a left back in.

"If there are any unemployed left backs out there, give us a shout! All joking aside, this is football and I've said before that managing all of the different scenarios is important. Whilst we want the obvious things of winning games and staying in the league, we also want to progress as a club and it takes time and careful planning to do that. The immediate part of that is using the players we have available to get results.

"We know our team and we don't feel the need to discuss it now. When you've got injuries like we have it's important to keep things close to your chest."

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