The Latics take on Maidstone United on their artificial surface in the FA Cup second round on Saturday. The Stones play in the National League and knocked out Macclesfield Town in the first round. Frankie Bunn is hoping for another good performance to see off the opposition and hopefully draw a money-spinning third round tie.
Bunnie said, “I think the Hampton game gives the players a really good insight, I don't think we were complacent, and we handled the situation really well that night. It's just important we turn up and it's about us again, if we turn up like I know we have already we’ll be ok, so I'll be expecting the same from the players with this game. We're still waiting for the swelling to go down and he'll [Gardner] be scanned as soon as possible, so when that's done, we'll know more about it. It's a blow to lose Ishmael, to eventually get him to something like we know he can be and then not have him available is a loss, but we move on and utilise the squad. It's bad timing with this month and an important game Saturday, each game is of importance and we're just hoping we get people back as soon as possible. The squad will be tested, we've picked up a few more injuries then we would like so it's being tested to the full but it’s a chance for people to perform. That’s why we have 20 men within the squad who are available for situations like this, we have to get on with it and other members of the squad have a chance to step in and they need to take that chance.”
“We've been artificial turf this morning and we'll train again tomorrow on astroturf ready for Saturday. Ideally, we would have liked more time on the surface, but we are where we are and we're doing the best we can and we're preparing as much as we can do. We just have to turn up and play, it's as simple as that so we have to put the pitch to the back of our minds. We've got some talented footballers here that can play on any surface, so hopefully they'll turn up on the day. We know there's a togetherness within the squad and you could see it in the stands on Tuesday which was pleasing. It's maybe taken a while, hopefully they're understanding where we're coming from and what we're trying to do, and we have the intentions of the club in good heart. We all want to succeed pushing towards that and pushing in the right direction and it was great for the supporters to stay and applaud the lads off because I thought they deserved that.”