Latics travel to Villa in League Cup

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

Wigan Athletic’s reward for their League Cup first-round win over Blackpool is a trip to Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa in round two.

The tie will be played in the week commencing August 21.

And boss Paul Cook insists the midweek victory over Blackpool will prove as meaningful as last weekend’s League One triumph to their long-term ambitions.

Latics may not have picked up any league points on Tuesday night.

But with Will Grigg starting his first game in five months – and Donervon Daniels completing 90 minutes for the first time in exactly a year – Cook says the benefit will be felt in the weeks and months ahead.

“Listen, you can’t knock winning football matches,” he told the Wigan Post.

“It’s great for everyone. Football clubs are happier places when you win.

“And look at Will – he hasn’t played a lot of football since March.

“It’s so important for players like Will to get minutes under their belt.

“Donervon Daniels was excellent as well – and he wasn’t meant to get 90 minutes but he did.

“These are all great signs for the future, and make it an even better start to the season.”

Meanwhile, Latics legend Shaun Maloney has announced his retirement from the game at the age of 34.

Maloney, who provided THAT corner at Wembley in May, 2013, had been expected to play on for one more season with Aberdeen, after parting company with Hull City this summer.

But there were reportedly problems with his medical, and he has elected instead to join the coaching staff at Celtic, with whom he enjoyed two successful spells as a player.

“Celtic are delighted to announce Shaun has returned to the club, taking up a role as a development coach with the Under-20s,” a statement read.

Maloney joined Latics from Celtic in 2011, and was part of the side that won the FA Cup as well as being relegated from the Premier League in 2013.

He moved on to MLS outfit Chicago Fire in January 2015, joining Hull later that year.