Gary Bowyer says his Blackpool side are facing the best team in the division in Wigan Athletic on Saturday.
The Latics currently sit in second place in League One, just two points off surprise leaders Shrewsbury Town.
But Paul Cook’s side, who are unbeaten in their last five games, remain the bookies’ favourites to finish the season in first place.
“Cooky won’t thank me for saying it but they are the best team in this league,” Bowyer said.
“What he will hopefully thank me for saying is they’re the best team in this league because of how he coaches them along with his assistant Leam (Richardson) and how they play. That is only my opinion.
“I think if Cooky was a foreign manager with the way he sets his team up to play, and it’s not a one off because he’s done it at Chesterfield and Portsmouth, he’d be managing higher.
“This isn’t just a one-off because he’s come into Wigan and got a great group of players, he’s done it before. His teams are fantastic to watch and you’d pay good money to go and watch them.
“That’s all down to him, his philosophy and how they play the game. It’s unbelievable he’s not managed in the Championship yet.”
Cook made the move to the DW Stadium during the summer having clinched promotion from League Two with Portsmouth.
That was the second promotion on his CV, having previously won the League Two title with Chesterfield.
He is now in charge of a Wigan side who were relegated from the Championship last season but still have a squad packed full of talent.
Bowyer added: “I’m not being disrespectful to our players, we’ve got what we’ve got and we are what we are.
“We’re getting better, we’re improving and they’ll go on to have good careers a lot of them.
“But we’re coming up against a team with a striker who cost £7m and went to Manchester United (in Nick Powell). That’s some player because to play for Manchester United you have to be half decent.
“We’ve not quite got that here but we’re working very hard to try and get it.
“The two clubs in terms of their history is there for all to see.
“Cooky has spent a bit of money but you look at the quality, he’s been very sensible with who he’s bought. He’s not just gone and bought a name who’s just there for a retirement policy.
“He’s gone and bought people in who are going to improve the team and get better themselves.”