Paul Cook echoed Tony Mowbray’s phrase that Wigan and Rovers have been on the same ‘journey’ in recent seasons – and returned the compliment to his opposite number.

The teams will meet for a seventh time in Mowbray’s time in charge, with the pair having gone toe-to-toe in their League One promotion campaigns two seasons ago.

Wigan are the Championship’s form team, with 21 points from the last 30 available, and five clean sheets in a row, but still sitting 17th, Cook admits he’d happily swap league positions with Rovers.

“Blackburn have had a great season, Tony’s a very experienced manager and they’ve got some very good players,” he said.

“It was a big win for them last weekend against Bristol City, and we’re under no illusions as to how tough a game it will be.

“We’ve been on a similar journey at times during the last three years, albeit Blackburn have been able to kick on since we pipped them to the League One title.

“They’re currently at the other end of the table to us, where we’d love to be. They’re going for the play-offs, but we need the points as we try to secure our safety.”

Wigan, winners at Huddersfield last weekend, will return to the DW Stadium for their first home match behind closed doors.

And Cook added: “We’ve got a massive derby game ahead of us this weekend against Blackburn.

“And the reality is there’s usually been blood and thunder down the years between the two sides.

“You look at teams in the division who usually play with intensity, and feed off the crowd...and you’ve not seen that in any of the games so far.

“We’re back at the DW Stadium on Saturday, and nobody knows what it’s going to be like.

“We’ve all been dealt this hand, and we’re all having to play it as best we can.”