Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook looks ahead to Latics' Sky Bet Championship clash with Aston Villa at the DW Stadium on Saturday.
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- Paul Cook gives a team news update, discusses the January Transfer Window and Dean Smith's Villa in pre-match press conference
- Paul Cook: "Anthony Pilkington will play against Aston Villa tomorrow and he will go straight into the starting XI. We have needed an injection for a little bit now."
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Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook says he has been boosted by the return from injury of Michael Jacobs and the addition of Anthony Pilkington this week.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa at the DW Stadium, Cook said:
“We are delighted to sign such an experienced forward player in Anthony Pilkington, who plays a number of forward positions, has great pedigree, is a great lad and has great quality.
“We have suffered a lot, as most people know with, Jacobs, Powell and Massey being out for long periods. Gary Roberts has done excellently within that and Nathan Byrne has played in midfield but to get an acquisition in that area of the field with that quality, we are very pleased.
“Anthony will play against Aston Villa tomorrow and he will go straight into the starting XI. We have needed an injection for a little bit now.
“Michael Jacobs will be involved tomorrow, which is fantastic, Nick Powell will train on Monday and Gavin Massey won’t be far behind them. So when people told me it can’t rain forever, it is just starting to show slight signs of stopping, which is fantastic for myself, the staff and most importantly our supporters.”
Latics will look to get back to winning ways on their own patch but Dean Smith’s promotion chasing Villa will have their own sight set on completing a double over Cook’s men, after their 3-2 win over Latics in August.
“It was a good game at Villa,” Cook added. “A very entertaining game but we lost five or six minutes into stoppage time.
“It was what we probably envisaged the season would be like, where we would be involved in rollercoaster games that could sway both ways.
“Villa are such a fantastic club; they are a Premier League club playing in the Championship and that carries its own pressure.
“Dean Smith is a fantastic manager, he is a Villa fan too and that is great for the whole identity of the club. Within that, you look at the calibre of player they have and you know that we have our hands full tomorrow.
“These are games that we have always wanted and always looked forward to and tomorrow will be no different.”