Paul Cook is keeping his fingers crossed Saturday’s shambles at Preston won’t be exacerbated by bad news regarding Nick Powell.
Latics lost their talisman at the end of the first half at Deepdale, the ex-Manchester United star unable to run off a nasty challenge from Ben Pearson – for which he was yellow-carded – that necessitated lengthy treatment.
And the Latics boss is desperately hoping scans won’t reveal the damage to his leg to be too serious.
“We’ll have to wait and see how he is,” Cook reported. “He had one or two heavy challenges.”
When asked whether referee Lee Probert had done enough to protect Powell, Cook added: “Listen, referees have decisions to make.
“A couple of the fouls were probably close to the line.
“But that’s not what cost us the game.”
Cook also explained his surprising decision to replace Powell with the returning Dan Burn, leading to a switch in formation to three at the back.
“One of the things teams try and do is run through the gaps in between our two full-backs,” Cook said.
“We’ve got three very good centre-backs available, and we just thought it was an opportunity to get them on the field.
“But I prefer to speak about how well we’ve done.
“If someone had said at the beginning of the season we’d be 12th at this stage, we’d have been doing handstands.
“The reason we’re not doing handstands is we’ve offered our fans that much hope...and at Preston we took that hope away.”