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Gaffer Admits He May Freshen Up Team Ahead Of Blackburn Rovers Test

7 November 2016

Manager Stephen Robinson admitted he might freshen up his side ahead of tomorrow night’s game against Blackburn Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Athletic came through a test in the FA Cup on Saturday against Doncaster Rovers but were dealt injury blows as well as several players suffering with cramp.

And Robinson admitted he may need to freshen up his squad ahead of the game. He said: “We have got a squad of players and I’m still judging them. 

“We have players on six-month contracts and we need to look at people and make decisions about them. 

“We will change things up but make no mistake about it, we want to get through to the next round of this cup. 

“We want to end this week with two wins in the cup and a league victory as well so I think we have to change the team to make sure to progress and to protect people as well.”

Carl Winchester and Paul Green both limped off with injuries, whilst Ryan Flynn also suffered towards the end of the game and the manager gave an update on their situations.

“Carl was a precautionary one as he felt his hamstring in the warm up and if he pulls that then he is out for six weeks so we didn’t want to take that chance,” he commented. 

“We had Ryan Flynn sat on the bench who is a good replacement so we didn’t want to take that risk to lose Carl and it worked out well. 

“Carl should be fit for Saturday’s game against AFC Wimbledon but won’t be available tomorrow and Paul Green we are assessing but he may be a couple of weeks. 

“Ryan Flynn is a tough boy, he gets kicked about and takes a few knocks but he picks himself up and gets on with it so he will be fine for the game.”

Latics have the chance to progress through to the second round of this competition with a win tomorrow but the gaffer admitted he is not sure what to expect from Blackburn Rovers.

“It’s a difficult one to predict because they are allowed to play a number of players so you don’t know which they are going to play,” he said. 

"They don’t seem like they can go through at this moment in time so we don’t know what they are going to do. They could go very young or they could go strong so in truth it is about us. 

"We need to progress what we have done in the last seven or eight games, taking the good bits from games. It’s about what we do and the players we put in have to take their chances.”

Whilst this competition has come under scrutiny from supporters, the manager believes it can have huge rewards for the fans and the club.

“I got to the final of this competition with AFC Bournemouth and it was probably one of the best occasions in my career,” he admitted. 

“We took 30,000 fans to Wembley, where they came from I have no idea, but the atmosphere it can generate in the town and at the feel good factor at the club. 

“Financially it is massively to the club, it’s not far off the prize money for the FA Cup rounds so we are well aware it is important. 

“It’s not the utmost important, the league is the bread and butter, but we very much want to progress through to the next round. 

“We want to give the fans something to shout about and the cup competitions do take a bit of pressure off the league.”

Watch the full interview on Latics PlayerHD. 

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