UWE Rosler admits Wigan Athletic will have to be on red alert to deal with a familiar foe at Cardiff tonight.
Latics make the long trip to South Wales to take on the red-shirted Bluebirds, with Nicky Maynard expected to line up against the team with whom he spent the second half of last term on loan.
Maynard didn’t enjoy the best of spells at Wigan, scoring just four goals in 19 appearances. But Rosler is adamant the 27-year-old remains a quality striker – and will pose a massive threat tonight.
“Nicky is an extremely good finisher, and he showed that all the time during training here,” said the Wigan boss.
“He was very, very sharp in and around the box and his finishing skills were absolutely unbelievable.
“Obviously we were asking a lot for him to play up front on his own, against big centre-halves in English football.
“He probably found that a little hard to deal with, but with Kenwyne Jones at Cardiff up alongside him – who takes a lot of the physical burden – that works very well for him.
“I still believe he is a very good player and we wish him all the best for the future but obviously not on the night.”
Rosler will also make a special effort to have a word with Maynard tonight, having been denied that luxury at the end of last term.
“I never really had the chance to say goodbye to Nicky and thank him for his contribution here,” Rosler added.
“We met up after the play-off defeat to QPR but Nicky had already returned to Cardiff as agreed.
“He was one of the first loan players I brought in and I really enjoyed working with him.
“Of course both parties would have liked him to have scored more goals, but as a player and a person I like him.
“Sometimes you need certain players around you to make things happen, and the way he is playing now alongside a big centre-forward suits him.
“In general I have a lot of time for him, he is a smashing lad. He worked so hard, he never sulked when he wasn’t in the side, he bought into what we were trying to do and I think being here was good for him.”
Meanwhile, Rosler is waiting to hear whether his attempts to land a fresh transfer target has been successful.
“We have a bid in for a player, and are just waiting to hear back from the club as to whether it’s been accepted,” Rosler added.
“Hopefully we can move on with personal terms, but we are not there yet.”