Cook reckons ‘homework’ should ensure Moore is less!

Paul Cook
Paul Cook
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Paul Cook insists his Wigan Athletic players will have ‘done their homework’ to neutralise the threat of the deadliest striker in League One this weekend.

Rotherham hotshot Kieffer Moore, on loan from Ipswich, has scored 13 goals this term – Wigan’s top scorer is Nick Powell with seven.

But Cook is confident his backline will be on guard to prevent Moore getting more at the New York Stadium.

“The confidence players get from scoring goals is huge, and Kieffer Moore is in probably the best spell of his career,” acknowledged the Latics boss.

“That leads to his confidence levels, and belief, going through the roof.

“With the match analysis these days, our lads will be well aware of what’s coming.

“The lads will see the clips of him, how he scores his goal – it’s like homework all over again. And then on the day, you know what’s coming...but can you stop it?

“But we won’t over-analyse how much he can hurt us, because they’ve got some other very good players who can do that.”

Rotherham are the lowest-performing relegated side from the Championship, lying three places behind sixth-placed Blackburn.

But Cook says second-placed Latics will not be underestimating them, having pushed long-time leaders Shrewsbury to the brink earlier this month.

“They’re a funny team, Rotherham – a strong side, good players, and probably not got all the points they’ve deserved,” he explained.

“If you take the Shrewsbury game last week, it was very unfair for them to have lost the game.

“At 1-1 against 10 men, there’s only one team that could possibly win that game – and they end up losing it.

“That’s the difference between three points and none, and it’s a lesson for everyone.

“The previous week at Doncaster, they grabbed a point with a last-minute goal – but even so they might have won that.

“Rotherham are a team in that pack, who are capable of kicking on and getting higher.”

Cook faces a selection dilemma ahead of the game, having made four changes in midweek – recalling Will Grigg, Ryan Colclough, Lee Evans and Reece James – from the side that lost 2-1 to Bradford last weekend.

That reshuffle was vindicated with the 3-0 win over Doncaster, but the gaffer admits he’s not one for ringing the changes.

“It was a lot tougher decision for me to pick the team on Tuesday than a lot of people might have thought,” Cook recognised.

“Probably it was the most changes I’ve ever made as a manager, and it wasn’t on the back of the Bradford defeat.

“People will see it as being on the back of that defeat, but as I’ve said it had been coming for me.

“I thought we had looked a little leggy, a little tired...all the things you look at when you’re not playing well.

“And that’s football – these lads aren’t machines.”