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12 April 2019

The gaffer looks ahead to the visit of Sky Bet Championship leaders Norwich City on Sunday.

  • iFollow Latics - Paul Cook's Norwich City preview.
  • The gaffer gives an update on Nick Powell and is relishing the visit of the league leaders.
  • "It'll be a great game for everyone to view, the pitch will be like a carpet and it's looking like it'll be our biggest crowd of the season." - Paul Cook.

Norwich City H

Speaking to iFollow Latics at the Wigan Athletic Training Centre on Friday morning, Latics boss Paul Cook called for positivity and energy from his players ahead of Sunday's Sky Bet Championship clash with the league leaders Norwich City.

The gaffer began by reflecting on Wednesday night's result at Hull City by stressing the importance of dealing with the pain of defeat:

"There has to be a process for pain for the defeats, there then has to be an element of 'what are you going to do about it?'

"Unfortunately for us, the same repetitive things seem to happen during a game.

"I look at it from a managerial point of view and think, is it tactics, formations etc.? I'm not so sure it is. That's the truth, it's not a cop-out from me to put the blame on players at all, but individual mistakes have cost us dearly away from home.

"At crucial parts of matches when we've been clearly in them and in positions to take points out of them which would see us in a stronger position.

"After all of that, we're back here and we have to be positive with loads of energy looking forward to Norwich City."

With the big game ahead against Daniel Farke's high-flying Canaries, Cook continued:

"I enjoy the challenges of the big games and the fact that there will be a big crowd. I think manager's should appreciate what the opposition are doing well and in a very short space of time, Norwich will get all the accolades they deserve, but none from me unfortunately today, Daniel (Farke).

"They are having an outstanding season and they will get to where they want to be, but on Sunday we are very fixed with trying our best to beat them and get the points that we need to maintain what we're trying to achieve.

"The fundamental observation from everyone is that we've moved up a league. We were capable of taking all before us last year, but we've moved into deeper waters and within those deeper waters, there are bigger fish and those bigger fish can eat you.

"There'll be a big crowd at the DW on Sunday and it'll be a great game for everyone to view and see, but we'll stay focused on who's available and fit to play and how we can get the points to see us achieve what we want to achieve."

The gaffer, who spent one season at Carrow Road in the late 1980s, added:

"Norwich are a great club and a former club of mine. It's great to see them doing really well and we do really wish them success in the future, but that's not Sunday.

"My time down there was short, but I enjoyed being in Norwich, it's a fantastic city with great supporters.

"They're a Premier League club for sure. The infrastructure is working for them, the model of having young, energetic players who can all handle the ball and play is leading to success and that's something that clubs like ourselves have to look towards doing."

Wednesday night's goal scorer Nick Powell was substituted at half time against Hull, but Cook remains confident that it was only as a precaution:

"We're not worried about Powelly at the minute, it was precautionary for sure.

"In terms of the games now, it's no different to any other team, if you were to lose a player at this stage of the season now, the likelihood is you lose them for the rest of the season.

"For the position we're in, losing our better players and Powelly is one of those better players for sure, is not something we want or need."

With Latics playing a day later than the rest of the division, Cook added:

"It becomes a very painful Saturday watching all of the results of our competitors out there.

"Preparation is a little bit different and it's probably a good thing, given that we played on Wednesday night.

"The lads will certainly get the rest and information required against a very, very good team tactically.

"The pitch will be a carpet on Sunday, it'll be our biggest crowd of the season and hopefully our best result of the season.

"Our supporters know the challenges we face. Last year they got us over the line late on at Fleetwood and Doncaster and this year it can be equally the same."


Norwich City H

Norwich City H

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