We need Powell to be in top Nick - Cook
Paul Cook admits Nick Powell '˜has to be managed in the right way' if Wigan Athletic are to avoid a repeat of his previous injury problems.
The 23-year-old was substituted again at the weekend at Shrewsbury – the fifth time in five league games he has failed to last the course.
But boss Cook is determined not to push his luck with Powell, whose career has been blighted by a succession of injury problems.
“I think our supporters have got to be aware, Nick has to be managed in the right way,” Cook told the Wigan Post.
“Nick’s played a lot of football in such a short space of time, he’s training well, and when you get to the depths of a game you’ve got to be careful.
“No-one wants Nick Powell on the pitch more than me.
“But you’re going again on Tuesday (at Charlton), and you have to be careful.
“I want the supporters to know the (substitution) changes aren’t made to look clever, or to try and be overly tactical.
“We just want to be sure Nick’s on the field for e a massive percentage of our games.”
Powell is expected to retain his starting spot for Tuesday night’s tough trip to Charlton, who are up to second in the fledgling League One table after four wins on the bounce.
While other managers might be tempted to rotate the squad, Cook says he favours a different approach.
“Up to now I’ve never been a chopper and a changer,” the Latics boss revealed.
“The biggest things lads need sometimes – especially when they’re not playing well – is to have the manager’s faith in them, to go out and play well.
“For me, the time to change the team is when the lads are playing well – not when they’re feeling down in the dumps.
“The Wigan fans won’t see too many changes with me, apart from when we feel a player isn’t good enough for us.
“Certainly going down to Charlton it’ll be the same group again.
“If we feel something needs changing, we’ll do it.
“But that will be for the benefit of the team to win the game – not because we’ve had one disappointment and we need to change players and the system.”
One certain non-starter is Ryan Colclough, who starts a three-game ban for his sending-off for foul and abusive language AFTER the full-time whistle at Shrewsbury.
“I want to apologise for my red card,” Colclough tweeted on Monday afternoon.
“I let emotions get the better of me, which is a learning curve for the future.
“I’m sorry to everyone I’ve let down and to the officials. It won’t happen again.”