Although he won’t be involved in Sunday’s game against Huddersfield Town Mike Pollitt will be cheering Latics on as they travel to Yorkshire.
The injured goalkeeper has a couple of old friends in those parts now as well, with the appointment of Mark Robins as manager this week and Terriers’ striker Alan Lee both of whom he played with during his days at Rotherham United.
“I played with Mark at Rotherham before I came here and I had a season with him,” said Pollitt.
“We both started our coaching badges at the same time and he was thinking about management back then towards the end of his career at Rotherham and then he ended up getting a top job there.
“You have mixed opinions all the time on whether a player can go on to be a manager but Mark was one of those players who you could definitely see staying in football and becoming a coach.
“It doesn’t surprise me to see him managing a club like Huddersfield because he’s got such a good footballing background and I think a progressive club like them really suits him.”
The FA Cup is renowned for its unpredictability and Pollitt believes that Robins’ appointment will add to that.
“With Mark coming in only a few days ago it will make the unpredictable FA Cup even more unpredictable.
“His players will be looking to impress but so will our players and it’s just got the makings of a great game.”
One of those players will be Alan Lee, a fans favourite at the John Smith’s Stadium and someone who Pollitt described as a cult hero during their days together at Rotherham.
“Alan Lee is another one who I played at Rotherham with, for quite a few years actually.
“Alan was a great lad but not really your typical footballer he used to take his guitar on away trips and we’d all end up sitting there joining in.
“You’d ask him to play some Oasis or something and he’d just break into song and get everybody going.
“He reminds me a bit of Roman (Golobart) because he loves his music as well and both of them can get a whole room laughing with the way they are.”
The 40-year-old has been delighted so far with the impact that Latics’ fans have made in the FA Cup and understands their excitement around the away trips so far.
“All the lads know just what the FA Cup means to the fans and they turned out in force when we went to Macclesfield which I think gave the team a real buzz.
“Nostalgia is great in football and our fans have embraced it this year.
“The Macclesfield game in the last round was a throw-back for some of them and Huddersfield on Sunday will be as well because that’s the place that saw the club promoted in 2003.”
Reflecting on his own experiences as a follower of the FA Cup Pollitt said:
“When I was a kid I always used to get really excited for the FA Cup and people say the gloss has been taken off it but I don’t think that because everybody wants the chance to play in such a historic cup.
“I’m glad I’ve played a part in the FA Cup this year and I’m disappointed to be out injured because it’s a competition I really respect.”
Tickets are still available for the game on Sunday and Pollitt admitted he may be taking two up, one for himself and one for another man who has played between Latics’ sticks.
“I was speaking to Gary Walsh the other day about going over to watch the game and I’ve had some offers on Twitter as well to go and sit with the fans in the away end but I’ll have to see of course because of the injury.
“I’ll definitely be cheering the team on in some way and I’m sure there will be a great atmosphere.”