Paul Cook's preview ahead of Latics' Sky Bet Championship clash with Stoke City at the DW Stadium on Wednesday.
- iFollow Latics: Paul Cook looks ahead to Stoke City.
- All players apart from Danny Fox declared fit to face the Potters on Wednesday.
- "Competition for places is key." - Paul Cook.
Speaking to iFollow Latics ahead of his side's Sky Bet Championship clash with Stoke City at the DW Stadium on Wednesday, Paul Cook discussed a variety of subjects, including Stoke's start under new manager Nathan Jones, the availability of his squad for the visit of the Potters and Josh Windass' current goal scoring run.
"I thought it was a pleasing point under the circumstances of the day as we lost Lee Evans and he was going to be a pivotal part in our game plan in relation to the physicality on the pitch and screening from set-pieces.
"We had Beni come in and obviously he’s a different type of player, Powelly (Nick) would have been a big boost for our supporters and it would have been nice to see him get involved back on the pitch and then we lost Danny Fox in the manner that we did.
"We were under pressure in the first half and at times I felt the game could have got away from us but then to come out second half and play the way we did was great credit to the players."
PC on squad update
"All our players apart from Danny Fox are back for the Stoke game which is great news for us because we’ve got everyone chomping at the bit and training well."
PC on Nick Powell
"These injuries can take time and for managers these days every game is scrutinised that much that it’s untrue. We’ve been without Nick for something like 10-11 weeks and there’s not many teams in the Championship who could be without Nick Powell for 11 weeks because he’s that good. Having him back and involved is great for everyone."
PC on selection problems
"I’ve got selection problems now which is good because we haven’t had that over the winter! Competition for places is key and there’s been times this year albeit being it in and around most positions lads have just been getting picked in positions week in, week out and that’s the way football can go.
"We’ve had a really tough run with injuries which go back to when we first played Stoke when we lost Gavin Massey, Michael Jacobs, Will Grigg and Nick Powell around that time, so that front four has never been seen again and that was disappointing for me because those four lads knew each other’s games very well and complimented each other."
PC on Stoke City and Nathan Jones
"Managers now get judged after four or five games, that's how frightening football is going now.
"To implement new philosophies, new styles of play and for Nathan to get his players to do what he wants will take time, as it does with any manager.
"Eventually Nathan's team will evolve into what he wants, but unfortunately for us managers the talk when you don't win games is something we can't stop .
"When you look at the calibre of players at Stoke, given the correct time to implement what Nathan wants, they'll be more than fine."