GARY Rowett was pleased to draw Wigan Athletic in the first round of the League Cup – but admitted anyone but Sheffield United would have done.
Burton Albion were handed a home tie in the competition opener for the first time in their history, with the Championship Latics set to visit the Pirelli Stadium in August.
Boss Rowett’s first two full seasons at the Brewers’ helm both saw his side hed to Bramall Lane, and although they won both matches, he was happy to pencil in a new name on his calendar.
“It’s a really good draw,” he said.
“But if you’d told me we weren’t going to get Sheffield United, I would have been happy with that.
“Wigan are as big a club as we could have hoped for and we’re looking forward to it.
“It’s a home draw as well, which doesn’t seem to have happened for us very often.
“I just spoke to the chairman and he’s delighted, because for a club like us, we’re always looking for a big draw.”
Wigan, who two seasons ago were in the Premier League and being crowned FA Cup champions, reached the semi-finals last season before losing to eventual winners Arsenal.
Uwe Rosler’s side have a squad still packed with top flight talent, including Scott Carson, Gary Caldwell, Ben Watson, Grant Holt and Shaun Maloney.
But Rowett is understandably optimistic after guiding Albion to two cup wins against the Blades, as well as seeing off Leicester City and taking Fulham all the way to a penalty shoot-out.
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“From a playing point of view, it’s a very difficult tie, but we’ll be as competitive as we can be,” said the Pirelli chief.
“We are looking to do as well as we can, like we did last year, when we only lost to Fulham on penalties.
“We know that if Wigan play as strong a team as they can, then it will certainly be a tough match - but we can do it.
“It’s an attractive tie for the club and we’ll try to do what we can.”