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Club News

The Opposition: Wigan Athletic

We get the lowdown on our midweek visitors

26 November 2019

Millwall are back under the lights of The Den this Tuesday night, as Wigan Athletic make the trip south to face Gary Rowett’s Lions. Following back-to-back wins including Saturday’s first away victory of the season at Swansea City, we look to extend our run against Paul Cook’s Latics.

The Lions sit 10th in the Sky Bet Championship after the weekend success in South Wales, just four points adrift of the Play-Off places. Wigan are 20th, having picked up just two points on the road so far this season and are without a win in five.

Wigan Athletic are competing in successive Championship seasons under the stewardship of Paul Cook, following The Latics’ title-winning promotion from League One in 2018. The club possess an appealing array of young players, and have enjoyed an impressive recent history in the shape of eight years in the Premier League. This was polished off with an historic FA Cup triumph in 2013, during which they faced The Lions in a Wembley Semi-Final. With two separate campaigns in League One – both of which winning the division title – behind them, Wigan now look to progress and become an established Championship outfit once more. The club have enjoyed one promotion to the top flight – in 2005 – followed by a journey to the League Cup Final just months later, where they lost out to Manchester United in Cardiff. Alongside their major achievements, Wigan have also lifted two Football League Trophies and appeared in the 2013 Community Shield at Wembley following their Cup triumph.

The Latics have recruited encouragingly in time for the start of this season back in August, bringing in players such as Kieffer Moore, Jamal Lowe and Joe Williams. David Marshall, Lewis Macleod and Antonee Robinson among others also represent important players in Cook’s squad. Nick Powell, Callum McManaman and Leonardo Lopes departed the DW for fellow Championship clubs, whilst Darron Gibson and Jonas Olsson were released as free agents.

Paul Cook has been in management for 13 years, and has proven his coaching expertise at several levels of the League pyramid. After nearly 600 EFL appearances as a central midfielder in his playing days for clubs including Wolves, Burnley and Accrington Stanley – with whom he won promotion to the Football League in his final season on the pitch – the Liverpudlian moved into coaching with Southport. Five years in Ireland with Sligo Rovers helped Cook make his name as a manager, before a stint back with Accrington was succeeded by three years at Chesterfield. With The Spireites, Cook won promotion to League One and followed it with a Play-Off place the following season, before winning the League Two title with Portsmouth in 2017. Arriving at the DW Stadium at the end of the 2016/17 campaign, Cook went one better, steering The Latics to the League One title and reaching the FA Cup last eight. He has steadied the ship in the North West, maintaining Wigan’s Championship status.

Millwall have won 13 of the two clubs’ 31 meetings, with 10 draws and eight Wigan wins, including on the final day of last season at the DW. May’s 1-0 loss was the first defeat after six games for The Lions against the Greater Manchester outfit.

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