Tough night in store - but Latics ‘will be ready’

Will Grigg
Will Grigg

Wigan Athletic will be treating Friday night’s FA Cup second-round clash at AFC Fylde as importantly as any League One game this season.

That’s the message from the Latics management, with the visitors hoping to avoid a potential banana skin and take their place among the big boys in round three.

“We’re massively looking forward to the FA Cup tie,” first-team coach Anthony Barry told the Wigan Post. “I think everyone in English football still looks forward to the FA Cup.

“We’ll try and go there and play, but it’s going to be a tough night’s work.

“Friday night, under the floodlights, the TV cameras there, it’ll be some atmosphere in the ground.

“We’ll prepare well, we’ll prepare properly, and we’ll have a go.”

Manager Paul Cook has also signalled his intention to to field a strong side, and striker Will Grigg, for one, is desperate to be involved on the night.

“I don’t think anyone will want to be rested, to be honest,” the Northern Ireland striker revealed.

“When you’re in the team, you just want to keep playing. The more games that come along the better.

“We don’t know what the manager will do, but I’m desperate to play and I’m sure most of the boys are as well.”

Grigg is aware of the threat posed by non-league Fylde, but reckons there will be no added pressure if they go there with the correct attitude.

“It’s a potential banana skin for us, we know that,” recognised Grigg.

“But if we do what we’re set up to do, and do it properly, we’ll win the game.

“Most people will be looking at them being a few leagues below us and expecting us to go there and win the game well.

“We know it’s not going to be that easy. They’ll be fired up, it’s their cup final.

“But from our point of view, if we do everything properly, we’ll have more than enough.”

Latics will make the trip to the Fylde coast with plenty of confidence, having returned to the top of League One last weekend with a convincing 3-1 victory at play-off chasing Rotherham.

“We were the better side, we dominated from the first minute, and it shows how far we’ve come,” added the 26-year-old.

“We’re able to match the aggression of sides when the need arises, and then play our football, pass the ball, when we can.”

Friday’s game kicks-off at 7.55pm and is live on BBC2.