Tranmere test for Wigan Athletic '˜trialists'

Wigan Athletic kick-off their pre-season schedule at Tranmere this afternoon with veteran trio Darron Gibson, James Perch and Ross Wallace all set for run-outs.

Saturday, 14th July 2018, 1:56 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:53 pm
Darron Gibson

Just don’t let Paul Cook hear anyone making reference to the out-of-contract free agents – who have been training with Latics at Euxton – as ‘trialists’!

“I don’t really like talking about ‘trialists’, because I think it’s a very disrespectful way of describing players,” he told the Wigan Post.

“These are very much senior players who’ve had great careers, and to call them ‘trialists’ is probably not really correct.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Yes we’ve got lads in training who we’re having a look at, and they might be involved this weekend.

“It’s different lads being given a go, different formations, different opportunities for different people.”

Cook also played a trademark straight bat to the question of whether they were playing their way towards a contract at the DW.

“You’re not going to get me on this one!” he smiled.

“Again, you’re at a stage of the season where lads are weighing up their options.

“Being in and around a club, training and playing games, is good for them.

“If an opportunity then comes for them to join somebody else, they’re fit and raring to go. And obviously there remains the possibility of staying with us if that’s the right move.

“It’s basically a door that’s open both ways.”

Two other free agents who won’t be featuring at Prenton Park – or staying with Latics – are Jason Shackell and Marc Bola.

Ex-Derby centre-back Shackell has received an injury setback, while former Arsenal junior Bola is expected to join Blackpool.