New Wigan Athletic boss Uwe Rosler targets Bolton Wanderers
UWE Rosler will have to get his players quickly up to speed for Sunday’s derby clash with Wanderers.
The former Brentford boss watched from the stands as the Latics slipped to a fifth consecutive defeat at Millwall last weekend but will formally take charge of the team for the first time in the Europa League in Slovenia tomorrow night.
Wigan have a slim chance of reaching the knockout rounds but with their Championship form faltering, it is the weekend’s clash with Dougie Freedman’s Whites that has really whet the German’s appetite.
A 2,400-mile round trip might not sound the ideal preparation for a local game of such significance but Rosler, who stepped in to replace the sacked Owen Coyle last week, is relishing the chance to get his Wigan career up and running in front of his home fans.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he said of kicking off his second stint in the North West against Wanderers. “I definitely would prefer to play a derby against Bolton in my first home game.
“It is a massive possibility for us. The players will be up for it and it’s a great opportunity for us. Bolton are in a similar region to where we are in the table.
“It is a very important game. It will be a very tense game. Both teams have to win but I am sure we will put ourselves in a good position.”
Wigan have won just twice in 12 games – form that spelled the end for former Wanderers boss Coyle after just six months in charge.
They face NK Maribor knowing only a win will give them any chance of extending their first European campaign and Rosler reckons a win for the Latics could also have a positive effect on their frame of mind heading into their game against Wanderers.
“When you lose five games in a row your first priority is to start winning football games,” he said. “But I know Sunday is a massive match. Bolton doesn’t have a midweek game, our recovery time will be short and so we have to be sensible with players who are coming back from injuries.
“But we will have a competitive team in Maribor. We owe it to ourselves and to the fans who are travelling down there.
“We have to embrace the competition because you never know when Wigan will play in Europe again. I am sure the players will be upbeat for Sunday.”
Rosler is set to rest defender Ivan Ramis and striker Grant Holt from European duty, leaving both free to face Wanderers.