Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook taking safety first approach with Will Grigg
Paul Cook is backing Will Grigg to fire the goals to lead Wigan Athletic to promotion - after spending much of the Easter weekend wrapped in cotton wool!
Grigg is expected to face Portsmouth this afternoon in front of the Sky cameras in the knowledge he is one short of the 20-goal mark he has reached three times already at this level.
He only played the first half of the 3-0 win over Oldham on Good Friday before being rested for the second half.
And the Latics boss says the embarrassment of striking riches at his disposal - with James Vaughan and Devante Cole also desperate for minutes - means he can afford to take no risks at such a crucial stage.
“Will was feeling his calf at the end of the first half on Friday,” revealed Cook.
“We had a chat at half-time, and said to him: ‘We can’t send you back out on to that pitch and risk losing you for four or five weeks - that’s season over.
“With a player as important as Will is, we’re just not going to take that chance, especially when you have the firepower on the bench we have.
“Vaughany dropped out of the team on Friday, after two or three outstanding displays up front.
“Devante looked great at Bradford, but hasn’t really had an opportunity other than that.
“We’ve got plenty of options up front, and that puts us in a very fortunate position.”
After restoring Grigg and Sam Morsy to his starting XI against Oldham, Cook must again decided whether to shuffle his pack for his eagerly-awaited return to the club with whom he lifted the League Two title last term.
“Jay Fulton didn’t even make the bench on Friday after starting the previous two games, which we won,” he added.
“That’s how tough it is to get a place in this team - and as a manager that’s the hardest part of the job.
“There’s also the likes of Jamie Walker, Gary Roberts, Gavin Massey waiting for a chance...but Ryan Colclough’s come in and done so well.
“Those options can be the difference between winning games and losing games at this level.
“To be fair, the depth of our squad is very strong, and the team ethic at the minute is very healthy.”