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'Be Ready To Rough It'

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

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Alan Stubbs has warned his players they may have to rough it when they travel to Wigan on Tuesday afternoon.

The Blues' second string return to Lancashire on the back of an excellent 4-2 win at Blackburn last week but their coach is expecting the venue, Robin Park, to provide a real test for his side.

"The few times we've played Wigan at Wigan the pitch hasn't been great, so I think one of the biggest things will be the conditions," Stubbs told evertonfc.com. "It is predominately a heavy pitch and hopefully it won't affect us too much, but we will have to take that into consideration."

Victory over Rovers came courtesy of an Apostolos Vellios hat-trick and a wonderstrike from Jose Baxter, while Stubbs was also able to call on top-flight experience in Marcus Hahnemann, James McFadden, Magaye Gueye and Conor McAleny.

But with David Moyes' first team facing an FA Cup fourth round clash with Fulham on Friday night, Stubbs admits his squad is likely to have a more youthful appearance for the meeting with the Latics.

"We'll have quite a young team out and we'll be a little bit different to last week, but it will be another good opportunity for the younger boys to express themselves,” he said. "The ones who perform consistently on a Saturday for the Under-18s will start to get a chance if they're doing well - it is that time of the season where that happens and we start to have a little look. But no-one will be coming up just for the sake of it."

Earlier in the season Wigan recorded a 2-1 win over Everton at Halton Stadium but Stubbs feels that result will have little impact on the reverse fixture.

More important for the former Blues' defender is for his side - whatever its make-up - to build on last week's performance and again discover the intensity Blackburn found too much to cope with.

"Wigan had quite a strong team out last time - they had some first-team players and squad players playing - so unfortunately we got beat on the day. But I don't think that will have much bearing," he said. "The players have got to start building on results though. They've got to build on the Blackburn game and keep momentum going because it's important for them that they don't go up and down. We want to see consistency in the performances now.

"After a bit of a break because of Christmas and the FA Youth Cup we've got more or less a game a week now and that will help them massively with that."

Tuesday's game kicks off at 2pm. Check out evertonfc.com for team news from Tuesday morning.

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