Just another problem to solve' - Wigan Athletic chief

Leam Richardson admits the pushing back of Wigan Athletic’s trip to Oxford to Sunday is ‘just another of those lovely last-minute problems that we’ve been dealing with for a long time’.
Leam RichardsonLeam Richardson
Leam Richardson

And rather than trying to read too much into the positives and negatives of the extra 24 hours - and the loss of a day’s preparation for next weekend’s home game against leaders Lincoln, with the midweek visit of Hull now put back from Tuesday to Wednesday, Richardson is just taking it all in his stride.

“I think Oxford were leaning towards letting us know as soon as possible to avoid us travelling down,” he said of Friday morning’s early announcement.

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“They’ve got a couple of bumps and bruises well I think, so the extra 24 hours might help with that.

“But in hindsight, looking at the temperatures dropping overnight to minus five, to go down today, and then have to travel back, we’ve got enough travelling as it is, so we’re all trying to be proactive.

“It’s only a 24-hour difference, so we’ll just get on with it.

“With everything going on – and even more so with what we’re dealing with off the field – it’s about dealing with what you can, when you can.

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“It gives us an extra day’s rest from Tuesday night, but then we’ll have a day’s less rest after next Wednesday for the following weekend.”

Richardson admits the extra day afforded the chance to rest some weary legs and do a bit more tactical work ahead of the trip south.

“It’s a bit of both to be honest,” he acknowledged.

“It gives us a bit more time, so we’re not having to cram too much information into them at once for this weekend, before getting on the coach and then into the hotel.

“We’ve managed to do a bit of indoor work, and then get on the DW for half an hour, which will help with our preparation.

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“We’re monitoring a couple of other players, a couple of them might not make it.

“But again it’s a case of overcoming and adapting to whatever’s thrown at us, as we’ve always done.”

Latics are making their first trip to the Kassam Stadium since December 2017 – when the visitors came away 7-0 winners in one of many memorable afternoons on Paul Cook’s watch.

“That was a great result, and a great day for everyone connected to the club,” recognised Richardson, Cook’s long-time No.2 before he stepped into the hotseat folllowing administration last summer.

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“Obviously it’s two totally different teams this weekend, I think the only person still here from back then is me!

“But the determination to get the win will be the same, and any kind of win will be gratefully received.”

Richardson could well name an unchanged side for one of the few times this season tomorrow.

Striker Jamie Proctor is still self-isolating in line with government guidelines, and won’t be back with the squad until the beginning of next week.

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New signing Joe Dodoo – who made a late cameo at Northampton in midweek – is hoping for more match minutes to push for a start in the not-too-distant future.

Winger Viv Solomon-Otabor is also pushing for a starting role after two encouraging bench appearances.

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