I get what Paul Cook is saying when he talks about following Man City`s lead. He wasn`t talking about their style of play, but more their attitude they take into every match.
Speaking to Wigan Today, our manager revealed what he admired most about Pep Guardiola`s side:
‘I think the main thing that strikes you about Man City is the repetition. Their repetition in what they do is amazing, they just keep turning up. Straight after playing us, they played Arsenal twice, and beat them 3-0 both times. That`s what good teams do!’
It`s true, they do have a set way of playing the game, but it is the consistency in their approach which makes them so effective. Repeating the same processes in retrieving the ball at the first opportunity, whilst keeping possession for long stretches has been the cornerstone of their excellent season.
While we can`t emulate their almost flawless execution of football, we can be inspired by their consistent levels of performance. We have already shown this season with 67 points that we are capable of finishing at the top, but we need to finish the job.
With the number of games coming up, the players could be easily overwhelmed, but we need to take the attitude that no matter how many games we play, we have a minimum expectation for the standard of performance we put in.
This may mean we’ll need to use the depth of our squad to make up the gap. Fitness levels among the first XI are bound to drop over the next few weeks and months due to the number of games, and so to sustain the level we need to continue winning matches, changes will be required.
I think we have a group of players in place that mean we shouldn`t suffer a sharp drop in quality if we make changes. Remember that Noel Hunt and January signing Devante Cole didn`t even make the squad at the weekend, so we should have what it takes to cope with the run-in.
Straight off the back of the Blackburn game, we now face another promotion contender in Scunthorpe. With the quality in the squad, Cook has a wealth of riches to make the right choices to get a win tomorrow.