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Paul Cook believes Wigan players can produce another FA Cup shock

The League One leaders host West Ham on Saturday.

Wigan manager Paul Cook has emphasised the belief he has in his players as the Latics target another FA Cup upset.

The Sky Bet League One leaders host West Ham in the fourth round on Saturday, having seen off the east London club’s fellow Premier League outfit Bournemouth in the previous round.

Cook’s men are unbeaten in their last 14 matches in all competitions, and he said ahead of this weekend’s contest: “I wouldn’t be suggesting we will beat West Ham, but I certainly have great faith in our squad.

“I think the players have proved this season that we can be a match for teams.

“I think for West Ham to beat us tomorrow, they will have to play well.”

Defeating Bournemouth in a third-round replay was a repeat of what Wigan did as part of their incredible run in the competition in 2013, which finished with a shock victory in the final against Manchester City.

Regarding the attention being paid to that fact, Cook said: “I think people will always look for historical things in a cup run, because people do believe in that sort of thing, in fate.

“If we win tomorrow, I think everyone will be saying it could be a reality. If we’re out, it is what it is.

“I think the memories are great for Wigan fans.

“I think once you climb Everest, it is always something you have done, so for us as a club, those memories will never go away.

Wigan won their FA Cup third-round replay against Bournemouth 3-0 (Martin Rickett/PA).

“But the most important thing is that this is a different team, a different year.”

Cook feels it is unlikely this cup run could have a significantly negative impact on Wigan’s promotion bid.

“I think here is a debate about teams that do well in cup competitions – they can have dips, for sure,” he said.

Cook's men are five points clear at the top of League One (Richard Sellers/EMPICS).

“But then you look to your squad strength, the calibre of the players, the mentality.

“It is important that the players keep themselves up for every game and that the level of performance stays strong.

“I don’t think it should get in the way, but only time will tell whether it will.”

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