‘Latics ace James won’t have to sit down after making return’

Reece James
Reece James

Latics boss Paul Cook has challenged Reece James to keep battling for a place now he is back in the fold.

The defender ended his 19-month injury absence last week with appearances against Blackpool and Bury, and came through unscathed.

Reece was excellent (against Bury), and I wouldn’t imagine many people would look to make changes after that match

Paul Cook

And while he admits thinking about cover for James was a worry, manager Cook now wants to see the ex-Man United reserve build on his encouraging return. “I’m delighted for Reece, to have been out

for as long as he has,” he said.

“Going into the season, it was always a concern for us, knowing we probably had to bring cover in.

“It’s hard to bring cover in, when you’re talking about left-back, but the important thing for Reece

is to get fitter, play regularly and challenge for a place.”

But it looks like James will be in line to keep his place in the side for Saturday’s trip to Oldham, with Cook saying he is pleased with how his squad is

firing so far, with two league wins from as many games.

The boss did admit though, that had loan arrival Callum Elder not earned himself a ban after picking up a red card on his debut against MK Dons, he would have a selection headache on his hands.

“Reece was excellent (against Bury), and I wouldn’t imagine many people would look to make changes after that match,” he said.

“If Callum Elder was available next week, as a manager you’d have a serious problem picking a team.”

Meanwhile, striker Omar Bogle’s exit from the DW Stadium looks a step closer as Cardiff City are expected to announce his singing later today. He had also held talks with Scunthorpe and Ipswich.

Bogle, along with midfielder Max Power, have been left out of Cook’s plans, and Bogle was placed on the transfer list last month after tweeting he would no longer be involved with the Latics first team squad.

Power was earlier this month linked with a move to Rangers.