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9 July 2019

The gaffer reflects on Latics' second game of pre-season away to AFC Fylde as a number of young professionals featured at Mill Farm.

  • iFollow Latics | Paul Cook's post AFC Fylde thoughts.
  • The gaffer praises his young players for their exciting second half display.
  • "Everyone is working hard behind the scenes and we have one or two transfers really bubbling at the moment." - Paul Cook.

Speaking to iFollow Latics after his side's pre-season fixture with AFC Fylde at Mill Farm, Paul Cook was visibly pleased with the second half performance of a side which included a mix of 10 Under 23/Under 18 players.

Latics were unfortunate to fall to a 1-0 defeat from Danny Rowe's second half goal, as Cook discussed:

"It was a good game and a good work out, exactly what you'd expect in a pre-season friendly.

"Fylde sat off us in the first half and gave us a lot of possession, which saw us stutter a little bit in terms of moving the ball quickly and creating chances against a deep lying defence which is always tough.

"The younger lads came on in the second half and they were absolutely excellent. It was a really enjoyable half of football to watch and a good taste for the boys in general to look at their fitness levels.

"We had a couple of great efforts in the second half and young Joe Gelhardt's chance late on produced a great save. Charlie Jolley has missed one, we'll probably show him that a few times, but joking aside it was great to see the young lads play in that environment.

"Tonight was great for our young players. Fylde had an excellent season last year and for our young lads who've got hopes and dreams of going on to play first team football, ticking these boxes at these levels is important because teams like Fylde are very good, very well organised and very fit. I thought our lads acquitted themselves really well tonight."

Josh Windass, Joe Garner, Lee Evans and Jamie Jones were absent from Tuesday night's game, with Cook explaining:

"Josh Windass went for a scan because he felt his groin on Saturday, but that's come back fine and he'll recover for a couple of days. Joe Garner had an injection in his foot and again he'll be resting for a couple of days.

"Lee Evans reported sick last night and Jamie Jones is out with a groin injury which will probably see him missing for a week or so.

"We play Macclesfield Town behind closed doors and Josh, Joe and Lee will certainly be back in the ranks."

With Latics working to high levels in pre-season, the gaffer was clear on the importance of adding bodies to the squad and insisted the hard work continues behind the scenes to add to the squad ahead of the 2019-20 Sky Bet Championship campaign.

"The lads are working very hard, they've been a credit to themselves with everything we've asked them to do. The most important thing for the squad is minutes on the pitch and we'll certainly be doing that as we go along through pre-season.

"It's hard for me to update too much on transfers because I don't want to say things to the supporters and then not deliver on them. The most important thing is everyone is working as hard as possible.

"We have got one or two really bubbling well and if they can come across to us then that will be brilliant.

"I understand the fans getting agitated as the weeks and days tick down. We know what we're in store for in the season and the recruitment side of the club is very important, but everyone is doing their best in that department for sure.

"Everybody knows we need to get bodies in and with David Marshall we've got a top player. He's a Premier League and Championship goalkeeper and a current Scotland international, so we're delighted with the signing."

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