Boss excited ahead of first local derby of the season as Latics head to Preston North End on Saturday afternoon, backed by 4,000 travelling supporters.
- WATCH: Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook previews Latics’ trip to Preston North End
- Cook says he can only envisage a good game with local rivals
- Cook: “It is guaranteed to be a good crowd, two teams trying to play good football and so I can only envisage it being a really good game.”
Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook says he can only envisage a really good game as Latics travel to face local rivals Preston North End on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm).
Cook’s side head to Deepdale backed by nearly 4,000 away supporters and the boss said the trip to Deepdale is one he looked out for once the fixtures were released.
“It is a great game; with the way the geography is, you have ourselves, Preston, Bolton and Blackburn [in this division] and they are the fixtures all managers are looking for,” Cook explained.
“It is guaranteed to be a good crowd, two teams trying to play good football and so I can only envisage it being a really good game.”
Cook takes a full-strength side to Preston, with the exception of the injured Gavin Massey, with positive news on Samy Morsy, Dan Burn and Will Grigg.
“Everyone is fit and available; there is only Gavin Massey missing from the squad,” Cook added.
“Dan Burn is in the squad, Griggy is fully fit and really, it is my first real selection headache. There will be a lot of thought that goes into it and we hope we pick the right team to represent the club in front of a big away support.
“Samy needed that little break and it was important that he got that. This is what you have to manage; three games in a week is tough for any Championship club, not just ourselves. I thought Lee Evans and Darron Gibson were excellent on Tuesday night.”
Although our local rivals are currently bottom of the Sky Bet Championship, the boss explained how he feels results are just around the corner for Alex Neil’s side.
“I can only speak very highly of Preston as a club and Alex Neil as a manager,” Cook continued. “They have a good recruitment policy with the way they bring younger lads in to go on and hopefully improve them.
“Going forward they have been excellent and you don’t finish 7th in the division last year and all of a sudden, the wheels come off. They haven’t had the start they would have wanted but I am sure over the next few games and in the required time, Alex will get them exactly where they want to be.”