Manager Frank Lampard is full of admiration for the work Paul Cook has done with Wigan Athletic and expects Saturday’s visit to the DW Stadium to provide a tough test.
Cook has enjoyed a lot of success in his managerial career so far. He led Chesterfield to the Sky Bet League Two title in 2014 and helped them reach the League One play-offs the following season, whilst he also led Portsmouth to the League Two title in 2017.
That form saw the Wigan board take note and they appointed Cook as their new manager following relegation from the Championship in the summer of 2017.
Cook managed to lead the Latics back to the Championship at the first time of asking, whilst they also enjoyed a good FA Cup run last season which saw them beat Manchester City in the fifth round to end their hopes of a possible quadruple.
His fast-flowing attacking style has caught the eye of Lampard who respects the Liverpudlian, and the manager anticipates a close encounter when he takes his side to Wigan this weekend.
“They have a good home record, have good players and a very good manager,” Lampard told RamsTV. “I am really impressed with their story over the last couple of years, to bounce back like they did to win the league and play good football.
“They are a very energetic team which makes them very difficult to beat and they’ve had some good results this year so it will be a tough game for us.
“Paul Cook has had a good managerial career so far and I think he will go onwards because not only is he charismatic, I like him without knowing him. I like the way he shows himself and I like the way he sets his teams up so it will be difficult for us.”
Since last Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Swansea City last week, Lampard has had a whole week to prepare his side for Saturday’s game.
“I think the players needed a bit of rest because we had three games in a week last week which was taxing on the players both mentally and physically,” he said.
“This week has given us an opportunity to rest and get some training into them so we have used both of those and we go into the game into good shape. It’s up to the players now to perform.”
In-form Jack Marriott missed last weekend’s game through injury but the manager had good news regarding the striker.
“Jack has been training with us today and he is in contention,” he said. “
He had a badly bruised foot and he had a protective boot on so it was obviously a problem.
“He has trained so whether he is ready to start the game, we will have to have a look at that over the next day or so.”