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We’re not going to Preston to defend - Wigan Athletic boss

Paul Cook
Paul Cook

Paul Cook says Wigan Athletic are determined to pile the pressure on neighbours Preston this weekend.

North End are propping up the Championship after 11 matches, with Latics only out of the play-off places on goal difference.

And Cook reckons the derby-day atmosphere will bring out the best in his team.

“It’s a great game for us,” the Latics boss recognised.

“Geographically-wise, the games against Preston, Bolton, Blackburn are the ones you look for at the beginning of the season.

“It’s guaranteed a good crowd, and I can only envisage it being a great game.

“And hopefully we will turn up to play. We’re certainly not going to Preston to defend and get behind the ball.

“We’re going to engage in what we hope will be a good derby, which people will be speaking about at 5pm saying what a good game it was.

However, Cook won’t be making the mistake of under-estimating a North End side he says are in a false position.

“I’ve been lucky to watch them several times this season, and they’re always involved in very good games.

“They lost to Middlesbrough the other week when they were the better side, they lost 3-2 last week to West Brom, who carry so much strength, and they drew 3-3 at Aston Villa in midweek.

“The margins at this level are so small, it’s untrue.

“For me, Preston will evolve and they’ll end up where they deserve to be.

“In my opinion, that will be a healthy position of safety.

“Because not only have they got a good manager, they’ve got good players.

“Ideally for me, we’ll come out winning. If not, we’ll move on to the next game.

“If Preston won 2-0, would anybody be surprised? Not greatly.

“Similarly, if Wigan won 3-1, would anybody be surprised? Not greatly.

“It’s the rollercoaster of football, and we hope the game goes really well for us.”