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14 September 2018

Paul Cook looks ahead to Latics' return to Sky Bet Championship action against Brentford FC this weekend.

  • Watch: Paul Cook's Brentford FC preview.
  • Latics head to Griffin Park with Darron Gibson and Michael Jacobs back in training.
  • Paul Cook tells of his respect for Dean Smith and the Bees and his appreciation for around 1,000 Latics fans heading to London this weekend.

Speaking to iFollow Latics at the Wigan Athletic Training Centre on Friday morning ahead of his side's visit to Griffin Park in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday, Paul Cook gave his thoughts on the international 'break', his respect for Brentford FC and gave his thanks to everyone heading down to the capital.

Paul Cook on the first international fixtures

"To have a break from fixtures like this has been really strange. The lads having time off and people doing their own things makes you feel like something is getting away from you, but that's the modern game now.

"We adapted to it, we've done our best and we've trained hard in the build-up to Brentford.

"We trained Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week. We gave the lads Thursday off to get a good rest in and we feel that we're well prepared for Brentford on Saturday.

"For a lot of managers who have been used to this over the years it's probably second nature, but for myself and my staff it's been a different type of challenge.

"I'll buy into it eventually don't worry about that, but it's certainly a different experience."

Paul Cook on international players

"It was great for us to have so many players going across the world, it's great for me as a manager to see my lads getting recognition in international football.

"It does give me the worry of if some of them will be in the right place to be picked again for the next match because of the travelling. Do I pick them tomorrow when we've got another game on Tuesday? It offers a different challenge, but like our supporters know, we're going to do our best to meet them head on."

Paul Cook on potential returns

"Everyone but Gavin Massey and Dan Burn will be available for Saturday.

"Gavin had surgery on his hamstring problem earlier this week and it looks like he's going to be out for a few months to make sure his recovery is correct.

"Darron Gibson and Michael Jacobs are now back with us which is great for the group. The lads have been carrying to the torch really well for us so far, so two have another couple coming back is great.

"Joe Garner has trained really hard as well and he's pushing for a place in the squad."

Paul Cook on Dan Burn

"Dan's had the boot off now and all of the signs are looking really good. I think Dan Burn will be returning very, very soon. We're delighted with his progress."

Paul Cook on Brentford FC

"I cannot speak highly enough of Brentford and Dean Smith and what goes on at their club.

"For us up at Wigan Athletic they're probably one of the teams we respect the most by a long way. Whatever is thrust in front of them they deal with every single week and they're serious candidates for promotion this season.

"But after we give them all of the superlatives, we have to go there and try and win. That's something we'll be doing our best to do and it'll be a great game between two teams intent on having a go at each other and playing good football."

Paul Cook on fans travelling to Griffin Park

"If there's a pub on every corner I don't think we'll get many fans making it to the game... I wouldn't make it to the game that's for certain!

"The support away from home has been terrific and to have another 1,000 or so coming with us to Brentford is great credit to their dedication.

"Being a fan can be difficult, so we keep our standards as high as possible to make ourselves part of their journey.

"This most important thing when you support a team is that you have good days, because the bad ones are never far away. We're part of a club looking to have more good days than bad days. This weekend is going to be difficult, so all of the support is very much appreciated."

Brentford v Wigan Athletic Tickets

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