Under pressure? Not us! - Cook

Paul Cook
Paul Cook
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Paul Cook insists his Wigan Athletic side will be not be hamstrung by the pressure of having taken over leadership of League One ahead of this afternoon’s visit of Fleetwood.

Latics return to league combat, after last weekend’s FA Cup programme, aiming to hammer home their advantage at the top, having displaced long-time leaders Shrewsbury.

But Cook says there’s no major change in mindset from when they were in second spot looking to overtake.

“We’ve only been top for a week...we’ve not had too long to get used to the feeling!” chuckled the Latics boss.

“On a serious note, you start the season with a clear aim of what you’re looking to accomplish.

“We’re going okay at the minute, but there’s so much hard work up ahead.

“If you get complacent in this game, you’ll come unstuck very quickly.

“There’s a lot of good teams chasing us down, and the most important thing for us is concentrating on the next game, which happens to be Fleetwood.

“We’ll just take each game as it comes – it’s the oldest cliche in football, but it’s true.”

It’s the first of two games in quick succession at the DW Stadium, with AFC Fylde due in town next Tuesday for an FA Cup second-replay to determine who will travel down to Bournemouth at the beginning of next month.

Cook, though, remains utterly focused on the challenge of Fleetwood.

“We’ve got a game coming up next Tuesday against Fylde we probably weren’t expecting,” he acknowledged.

“It’s a fixture that...not one we didn’t want, because that’s disrespectful to Fylde...but one we didn’t expect to have.

“Obviously we’ve got long drives down to Wimbledon and Oxford before Christmas, so it’s not ideal. The games are coming thick and fast, but the lads are doing all the correct things in their preparation for the games.

“It’s not in my mind for now, though – I’d never pick a team based on the next game after.

“We’re in a good place at the moment, and if we win on Saturday it consolidates our league position, which is the most important thing.

“Could we then make a couple of changes against Fylde?

“Possibly. But it wouldn’t in any way undermine the competition. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Cook has also reported a near full-strength squad, with Nick Powell having reported no after-effect from his second-half cameo at Fylde last weekend, and Ryan Colclough having recovered from a chest infection.

That leaves only long-term absentees Shaun MacDonald (broken leg) and Craig Morgan (hips) on the sidelines, with both due back next month.

“Apart from Shaun and Craig we’ve got everyone fit and available,” added Cook.

“The squad’s really strong at the minute, touch wood, and we’re really pleased going into the next five games.”