Wigan Athletic v Bristol Rovers Match Preview

Be sure to check out Episode 24 of GasCast, where the lads preview the Wigan game and look back on the win over Walsall and the disappointing defeat to Oldham!

By Simon Gray

Bristol Rovers travel up north hoping to bounce back from their midweek loss to Oldham when they visit Wigan this weekend.

Rovers were beaten by a late goal in the week despite coming back from 2-0 down and manager Darrell Clarke has spoken of his disappointment in the performance last time out and insists that the upcoming match will be a tough test.

“We put it to bed. It was a disappointing night for all,” Clarke told the Bristol Post.

“We haven’t had many disappointing nights – and days – at the Mem over the last three years so we dust ourselves down, take the criticism and kick on.”

“It puts stuff into perspective. One or two need to rise to the expectations. I put them under high expectations at the football club. It’s a competitive league and anyone can beat anyone on the day.

“We will keep things going and put in a better performance.”

On Wigan, Clarke said: “In my opinion, if you finish above Wigan then you win the league.

“They have the best squad in the league, have a very, very, very talented managed that has been there and done it.”

“He (Paul Cook) is a good man. He got Portsmouth promoted last season, got Chesterfield to the play-offs. He knows how to get a promotion. He’s a good manager.”

Rovers will be able to recall goalkeeper Sam Slocombe after he served his one match ban against Oldham. Defenders James Clarke and Johnny Burn remain out injured, as does midfielder Stuart Sinclair. Goalkeeper Adam Smith is a doubt after picking up a knee injury in Tuesday’s loss.

Wigan go into the game having convincingly beaten Charlton 3-0 away from home in midweek and have lost just one of their six matches this season.

Many have tipped The Latics to bounce straight back up to the Championship but manager Paul Cook has insisted that any success his side has this season will be down to the squad and not a team.

This is what the season is all about, and everyone will have disappointments, and hiccups,” Cook told Wigan Today.

“For us to get success, we must do it with the group of people as a whole.

“There’s no one individual player who will bring success to the group.”

Paul Cook will be without forward Ryan Colclough and defender Chey Dunkley for the game, both will be serving the final games of their suspensions. Christian Walton, Shaun MacDonald and Craig Morgan are out through injury whilst Nick Powell may be dropped to the bench due to fitness concerns.

Stats

This will be the 25th meeting between the two sides but the first in 16 years, Rovers have won 10 matches against Wigan, losing nine, with there being five draws.

Rovers, however, have not beaten Wigan in their last five encounters, drawing the last three.

1990 was the year that Rovers last won away at Wigan, but it was not at the DW Stadium, it was at Springfield Park.

21, Bristol Rovers fan for as long as i can remember. Highlight has to be to 06/07 Play Off win. Seen Rovers at 40/92 clubs in England and counting.

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