Wigan Athletic team news: Michael Jacobs back and Anthony Pilkington starts against Aston Villa!

Michael JacobsMichael Jacobs
Michael Jacobs
Michael Jacobs' three-month injury nightmare is over as he returns to the Wigan Athletic bench for this weekend's visit of Aston Villa.

And new signing Anthony Pilkington – who only joined from Cardiff City on Thursday, and hasn’t kicked a ball this season – will start as Latics aim to kickstart their flagging campaign.

“Anthony’s not only available, but he’ll be going right into the starting line-up,” revealed boss Paul Cook.

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“Michael will also be involved in the squad, Nick Powell’s training on Monday, and Gavin Massey won’t be far behind them.

“Sam Morsy and Darron Gibson are also both fit to play after doubts, so it’s been a great week for us in that respect.

“When people were saying it couldn’t rain forever...we can just start to see signs of it stopping, which is fantastic for myself, the staff and the football club.

“We’re in a 20-game campaign now where the challenge is to achieve what we all want.

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“If we can get all our players back fit, recruit maybe one or two new players in defensive areas, and keep hold of the players we have here, it will help us to get to where we want to be.”

Cook is hoping Pilkington’s arrival will boost a squad that’s been running on empty for several weeks.

“We’ve needed an injection in there for a while now,” he added.

“Our supporters have been terrific during a time where we know we’ve not been doing as well as we’d have liked. But everyone can see injuries have taken their toll – certainly in certain areas.

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“With Dan Burn gone, it’s common knowledge we’re not endeared with a lot of cover in defence, and that’s also a priority for us.”

Pilkington had been expected to sign for Ipswich, who apparently offered him more money, but he elected to move back to his native north west and Latics.

“For every club you beat to a player, there’ll be another player you’ll get beaten to,” added Cook.

“But we are delighted to get Pilks in – an experienced forward who can play in a number of positions, great pedigree, great, quality, great lad.

“To get in lads of Pilks’ quality, yes, we’d have to say we’re very pleased to get that done.”