Grigg will start against Blackpool

Will Grigg
Will Grigg

Will Grigg will make his first Wigan Athletic start in five months tonight against Blackpool with a simple message from Paul Cook: Start your engine!

The Northern Ireland hitman is still finding his feet after being ruled out since March with a knee injury that required surgery.

But after a 25-minute cameo off the bench at MK Dons on Saturday, Grigg has been fast-tracked back into the starting XI for tonight’s League Cup visit of the Seasiders.

And the Latics manager wants his star striker to give him a selection headache ahead of Sunday’s league game against Bury.

“Will starts, and Will knows what our plans are for Will Grigg,” revealed Cook.

“He hasn’t played football since March, and that’s a very long time. But Will looks sharp, he looks good.”

Cook has pledged to ring the changes for tonight’s game, to give the players who didn’t start at the weekend a chance to stake their claim.

Cook admits the competition is a distant third in his priorities behind the league and FA Cup.

But with the likes of Alex Gilbey, Ryan Colclough, Jordan Flores, David Perkins and Donervon Daniels set to start, it’s hardly a ‘weak’ team.

“If you have a front four of Colclough, Gilbey, Flores and Grigg – that’s some second team we’ve got here,” Cook acknowledged.

“Young (Andy) Kellett’s still carrying bits and pieces or knocks, but Donervon will play, which is great for him, and all the lads who haven’t been playing will get a game.

“Tyrell Thomas will make his home debut...I’m sure our fans could probably have go at picking the team. I don’t believe in keeping secrets – we’ll have a very strong team out.”

Cook also confirmed young striker Callum Lang will get a run-out at some stage in the second half.

“Langy will be sub, and he’ll come on for Will when Will tires,” added Cook.

“We might see Noel Hunt, who was sub on Saturday, but this is what it’s like when you have four quality strikers – I can’t play them all!”

Ivan Toney looks like being given the night off after playing three-quarters of Saturday’s 1-0 win at MK Dons.

But one forward who definitely won’t be featuring is Kaiyne Woolery, who last night completed his move to League Two Swindon for a fee in the region of £350,000.

He made only one appearance after joining last summer from Bolton for £100,000.

Latics are expected to hand a debut tonight to goalkeeper Jamie Jones, who yesterday signed a 12-month contract.