‘Replays aren’t healthy but this is a big game’

Latics players celebrate at Bournemouth
Latics players celebrate at Bournemouth
Share this article

Leam Richardson insists Wednesday night’s FA Cup third-round replay against Bournemouth is no more or less significant than Saturday’s League One trip to Plymouth.

Latics have a second bite at the Cherries on home soil, having drawn 2-2 on the south coast a week-and-a-half ago.

The Premier League side had to come back from 2-0 down, and rely on a stoppage-time equaliser from Steve Cook, to earn a replay.

Despite the hindrance of an extra fixture, Richardson says Latics will be giving it all of their focus.

“Every game’s big when you’re at a club like ours,” the Latics assistant manager said.

“You’re in the FA Cup and certainly, with the history this club’s got with it, we’ll be taking on its merit.

“Replays aren’t healthy at this time of year for anybody, but you’re still in the hat and have a chance to progress.

“Both teams and management will be quietly happy with it - but wanting to go through.”

Richardson says Latics should go into the game with increased confidence from having matched their top-flight opponents for the duration of a pulsating first game.

“I learned our lads can handle the ball and progress well like they have been all year really – coming out of the back of last year,” he recognised.

“It was always going to be a good game on paper, two footballing sides who hopefully try and hurt each other on the day.

“I think for the neutral, it would have been a good day, and the replay will be very similar.

“I don’t think there’s an outright favourite at all.

“It will be two teams wanting to progress through.

“They’ve had a great win on Sunday (against Arsenal), and they will be looking at Saturday - as we will.

“But first and foremost they will be looking at us as we will be them for a cup tie.”