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Rovers return for Wigan Athletic trio

Nick Powell and Sam Morsy
Nick Powell and Sam Morsy

Nick Powell, Nathan Byrne and Sam Morsy will all return to a full-strength Wigan Athletic side at Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night – if the game beats the big freeze!

The Latics squad has made the trip despite sources in the south west suggested the likelihood of the game taking place is only around 50/50 because of the bad weather.

On the coach that departed the north west were captain Morsy – back after a two-game suspension – along with Powell and Byrne, who missed the 1-0 weekend win over Rochdale through injury.

“Nick felt his hamstring a little bit against Man City last Monday,” revealed boss Paul Cook.

“Nathan also felt his calf, and with those muscle problems, when they’re tightening up, you have to be careful.

“We made the decision to give Nathan the Saturday off, he trained fine on Sunday and he’s good to go.

“I think the Man City game took a lot out of a lot of people, and the amount of distance we covered as a team.

“We’ve done our best to manage the situation, and we’ve come out of it well.

“We’re at full strength again, and that’s great credit to all the medical staff.

“Everyone’s fit again and available, and I couldn’t be happier about that.

“That’s why Saturday’s win was so huge for us – because we were missing a few players, and we just wanted to get the win.

“We’ve everyone back now, the squad’s on a real high, there’s a real feel-good factor, which is hugely important.”

Cook also laughed off the suggestion he might be tempted to hold back Powell because of concerns over the playing surface at the Memorial Stadium.

“Nick’s got a real focus on being successful and helping us to get promoted,” the Latics boss acknowledged.

“When you’ve got that drive, it’s not a pitch that causes you a problem.

“It’s the team in front of you that you worry about. There’ll never be an issue with leaving players out, especially Nick.”

Despite winning both games during Morsy’s absence – after he became the first Latics player to reach 10 bookings, which triggered an automatic two-game ban – Cook also says it’s a no-brainer to bring back his on-field general.

“Sammy’s our captain and he’ll be back in the side,” added Cook.

“The lads who’ve come in have done fantastic but, as a manager, having Sammy Morsy in the team is a massive plus for me.”