Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook has welcomed the way Lee Evans responded to being dropped – by coming back stronger and fighting his way back into the side.
The Welsh midfielder admitted last week that being left out of the side allowed him to ‘wake up’ and realise he had more in the locker to give.
And Cook feels it’s a perfect example of the spirit and character he’s helped to generate in the camp that will stand Latics in good stead through good times and bad.
“If Lee appreciated the kick up the backside, there might be another one on the way!” the manager laughed.
“But again, as a football club and a staff, we pride ourselves on having good relationships with our players.
“As we know with our own children...not every day is a good day...we don’t always hold hands when we’re walking to school.
“With the players too, it’s a two-way thing, and they need to feel our support.
“But at the same time they need to know how hard they have to work, and this group of players certainly get that.
“I had plenty of kicks up the backside – I had every other week as a player!
“Tell Lee Evans he’s nothing special getting one off me...but that’s football, and not everyone can be at it every single week, players are going to have dips in form.
“I hate going back to Liverpool, but look at Mo Salah, who was being questioned by some at the start of the season.
“It doesn’t matter who you are, you can’t have a curve that is constantly high all the time.
“It’s how you manage those dips in form, and keeping your habits as good as possible.
“And you know that good players will always come through the other side, because they’re good players.”
The Latics squad were due to travel down to Ipswich this morning ahead of tomorrow’s game at Portman Road.