Paul Cook admits he’s already made up his mind over whether David Perkins or Max Power will replace the suspended Sam Morsy in the Wigan Athletic engine room at Peterborough this weekend.
And while the Latics boss won’t reveal his hand until just before 2pm on Saturday, he believes whoever gets the nod will be well-equipped to fill in for the captain.
“We’re in a good place, and that’s why players train hard,” insisted Cook.
“You’ve only got to look at Jamie Jones, who’s waited patiently for his chance in goal – and now he’s literally the first name on the team sheet.
“This weekend, missing Sammy allows someone else a chance, just as it did on Tuesday night (against Northampton) when Nick Powell’s absence gave Gary Roberts a chance.
“That’s what football’s all about. Lads train really hard for the chance to come in, and this time’s no different.”
Cook admits both Perkins and Power have plenty to offer.
“One of the big things I like in the team is balance,” the manager acknowledged.
“Perks’ left foot gives you lovely balance, whereas Max has been coming off the bench in recent weeks.
“It’s between those two, and I think there’s equal arguments for both.
“Perks certainly hasn’t had a lot of opportunities this season, considering what a very good player he is.
“It’s a toss-of-a-coin situation, but I don’t think anyone would be disappointed with either of them playing.
“It’s something I’ve mulled over this week.
“When Max has been coming on in games of late, purely to change the game, because when teams play with less fear, they throw more men forward.
“Max has been coming on as a deep-lying midfield player, which has allowed Sammy – who’s normally been booked by that stage – the chance to move forward and stop him being sent off!
“It’s a different role Max has been playing, and it’s something we’ll take into account when we’re making the decision.”
Cook also revealed Morsy – whose booking in midweek against Northampton was his fifth of the season, triggering an automatic one-game ban – will be spared the long trip down to Peterborough in order to ‘focus all his attention’ on the upcoming games.
“I’m a great believer in getting rest back into people,” added Cook.
“If it was later in the season, I’d be a fan of Sammy coming down and supporting the team.
“We do like to take a squad to away games, with players who aren’t playing.
“But at the moment, I think it would do us and Sammy more good if he stays at home, bearing in mind next Tuesday’s game against Plymouth when he’ll expect to come back in.
“It gives him a little bit of time to have a rest, and focus all his attention on the Plymouth game.”