Owen Coyle has labelled Wigan Athletic’s UEFA Europa League clash with Zulte-Waregem a “fantastic opportunity” to reach the latter stages.
Victory for the FA Cup holders could secure second place in Group D if Maribor fail to beat Rubin Kazan.
Wigan’s first European journey has produced one victory in their opening four matches and Coyle knows the Championship side must raise their game to make the last 32 of the competition.
Belgian side Zulte-Waregem will provide stern opposition after going six games unbeaten in all competitions, but the Wigan manager believes they have what it takes to win.
“We’ve got a fantastic opportunity. The players are looking forward to the challenge and they’re very determined to qualify for the knockout rounds,” he said.
“The players may see the score from the Rubin v Maribor game, but they’re professional and whether or not they know that result, they’ll go out with the same attitude to win our match.
“Zulte are second in their league at the moment, they’re a very good side and with a player like (Thorgan) Hazard, they can cause teams problems.
“Reaching the round of 32 is a huge incentive. We’re standing toe-to-toe with these teams and enjoying it.”
Coyle, who confirmed on Wednesday that midfielder Marc Albrighton has been recalled from his loan spell at the DW Stadium by Aston Villa, will be without Juan Carlos Garcia after the Honduran returned from international duty with an injury that could see him sidelined for six weeks.
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