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Wellens Taking Positives From Prolonged Break

2 March 2018

Manager Richie Wellens has taken the positives from his side’s 18-day break without a game.

Latics beat MK Dons 1-0 at SportsDirect.com Park on February 13, however, following Rochdale’s involvement in the FA Cup and Saturday’s postponement against Southend United, Athletic have been without a competitive game for 18 days.

Wellens said: “We haven’t been able to play for one reason or another but we have to take the positives from it. 

“It has given the bodies longer to recover and then we have two or three coming back from injury so we take the positives. 

“It wasn’t ideal as we want to play games and keep that momentum going but we have to take the positives out of it.”

He takes his side to Glanford Park to face Scunthorpe United and will have selection headaches as he has a full strength squad to pick from.

“There is only Hunt who might be struggling with his achillies,” he admitted. “He will be a doubt and Doyle isn’t back yet. McEleney is back and should be involved but everyone is ready to go. 

“Doyle is not far off. I would have liked a practise match in him on Wednesday when we were supposed to play Fleetwood but that was called off. 

“That would have been ideal for him. What I don’t want to do is push him too much and lose him for 10 games. 

“If I’m having him, I want him at 100% for 10 games rather than force him a bit quicker and put ourselves back but it’s going to be a massive lift when he comes back.”

Wellens’ men have been hit by the recent snowstorms to hit the United Kingdom but that has not stopped his side preparing for the game.

“We have tried to find different astroturfs but even those have been under snow or frozen so we’ve trained a DW near the Trafford Centre,” he said. 

“Every club is in the same situation so you can’t use it as an excuse. You’ve just got to try and prepare as best we possibly can.”


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