Coyle shakes up team for Euro mission

Wigan player Marc-Antoine Fortune who may not last the full match
Wigan player Marc-Antoine Fortune who may not last the full match
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LATICS boss Owen Coyle is ready to shake-up his team ahead of his side’s Europa League debut tomorrow.

The Scot has confirmed that Callum McManaman, James McClean, Nick Powell and Ryan Shotton will all start against Zulte Waregem in Belgium.

It would also be McManaman’s first start for Latics since suffering an ankle injury during the Premier League trip to Arsenal in May.

A number of those who featured in Saturday’s 2-0 league defeat at Leicester are set to miss out.

Even though there is only one striker available, Coyle confirmed there is also the possibility that Marc-Antoine Fortune may not play the whole 90 minutes.

That would force a midfielder to push forward.

Coyle hopes by making changes it will ensure Latics are best prepared to tackle three games in six days.

“What we have to do is go and do ourselves justice with the squad we’ve got,” said Coyle.

“We’ll look for a bit of freshness as well.

“The McManamans, the McCleans, Powell and Shotton will certainly start the game and there is no doubt of their quality.

“It’ll be good to see that combination with the players there.

“Powell and Shotton will make their debuts from the start, obviously Nick played a little on Saturday so it’s a great opportunity for those kind of boys. If Grant (Holt) was fit and Marco there, it still wouldn’t be an ideal situation with two (strikers) and we’re still looking to try to add to that.

“As it is, Marco is there and it may very well be that Marco may get a rest on Thursday and come off the bench.

“We’ve got to understand this is a very good side we’re playing in Zulte Waregem.

“They lost on Sunday but prior to that they’ve been carrying on well so we’re well aware of the threat they have.

“They can pass the ball, they’re pleasing on the eye and they can score goals.”

Although Coyle insists the main focus this season will be an immediate return to the Premier League, he has given tomorrow’s game just as much concentration as he would do any other.

The Latics boss admits he hasn’t even thought about Sunday’s Championship game against Ipswich and everybody at the DW is fully focused on picking up three points in Europa League Group D first.

“We’re not looking ahead to Ipswich, we’re looking to Zulte Waregem,” he added.

“Once we come out of that game, we’ll be ready for Ipswich but everything has to be focuses on Waregem.

“We’re asked to play a lot of games in a short space of time. We tried in the close season to bring in a squad that is going to be competitive.

“It’s a great occasion for everybody at the football club playing against a very good side in a wonderful country and we’ll look to do ourselves justice when we get over there.”

Latics were due to fly to Belgium today.