Rosler motivated before Wigan debut

11 December 2013 06:31

Uwe Rosler takes charge of Wigan for the first time vowing his players will do everything they can to try to qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa League.

The Latics take on Maribor in Slovenia on Thursday knowing that, like their opponents, only victory coupled with defeat for Zulte Waregem against Group D winners Rubin Kazan would see them progress.

Wigan had been in a good position in their first European campaign after beating Maribor at the DW Stadium and then holding Rubin to a draw but a home defeat to Zulte two weeks ago put the Belgians in pole position.

It was one of three defeats in a week for the FA Cup winners that spelled the end of Owen Coyle's reign after less than six months in charge.

Chairman Dave Whelan moved quickly to replace Coyle, with former Manchester City striker Rosler leaving Brentford to take over at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

He had a watching brief that day as Wigan slumped to a fifth successive defeat at Millwall, leaving them 14th in the Sky Bet Championship table and nine points off the play-off places.

In his first press conference on Monday, Rosler made it clear promotion back to the Barclays Premier League was his major priority, but he insisted that will not be at the expense of winning on Thursday.

The German said: "It's a great opportunity for me to see players in a competitive environment where they can show themselves and can impress me. Our motivation should be and will be very high.

"We owe that to ourselves, we are professionals, and we owe it to the supporters who have come a long way to Slovenia supporting us. It's a great opportunity, with a little bit of luck, to progress.

"We don't have it in our own hands, we are dependent on other people, which is not the situation we want to be in.

"Both teams have to play, both teams can progress and we have to make sure we do our own work in terms of winning the game."

Rosler has left striker Grant Holt at home to prepare for Sunday's derby against Bolton while James McClean is suspended. Will Keane and Ivan Ramis are ineligible.

The 45-year-old has only been in charge for two days of training but is encouraged by what he has seen and hopes the Europa League can be a springboard to an upturn in form.

He said: "Confidence only comes through winning football games. We've lost five in a row and we have to turn the corner.

"I saw in the last two days in training that everybody's focused, everybody wants to make an impression, everybody's willing to take new things on board. It's a lot of information in a very short time.

"I think not everything will be perfect, I don't expect that, but what I expect is for the team to carry on the good work they did in the last two days in terms of showing what they can do because we have a lot of good football players."

And should results fall in their favour, Rosler would not expect the knockout stages of the Europa League to prove too damaging to their Premier League ambitions.

He said: "The group stage is a massive task for any Championship team to be successful on both fronts with the intensity and the game schedule. When you get out of the group stage, I think it's possible."

The Wigan squad got their first taste of the Stadion Ljudski vrt pitch on Wednesday evening, and Rosler added: "This is a modern stadium, it's the national stadium. It's not an environment for excuses.

"We're here to do business, we mean business and we'll give it our best."

Source: PA