Norwegian defender discusses competition styles and says it’s time to reward supporters.
Speaking in the build-up to tomorrow’s crucial Europa League group stage game against Zulte Waregem, Thomas Rogne said that the team have been enjoying the style of play in the competition.
The central defender, who made his first appearance in the Europa League for Latics away to Rubin Kazan, added that a balance in styles needs to be struck up in order to succeed.
“There’s a clear difference between the Europa League and the Championship and English football in general.
“You have to think quickly in the Championship, a lot more so than in the Europa League, but it’s a more technical competition which demands you to be switched on against some of the best forwards in Europe.
“We get a lot more time on the ball and creating rhythm in passages of play is much easier in the Europa League.”
“Every game in the Championship is a battle and we have to learn how to balance our performances across both competitions, whereas the Europa League gives us a chance to express.”
Latics have the chance to qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa League tomorrow night should they beat Zulte Waregem and NK Maribor lose to Rubin Kazan.
Rogne sees qualification as a big chance to shine, but says there isn’t too much pressure on the team:
“It is a massive game tomorrow because of what it could lead to.
“I don’t think many people outside of the club expected us to do as well as we have done in Europe and they probably thought we would struggle.
“We’ve done really well so far and for us to go through would be amazing and of course once you’re through anything can happen.”
The 23-year-old added that the supporters have played a major role in the club’s progress in the group stage so far, saying:
“We walk out with smiles on our faces and in a relaxed manner, in an environment that we can just play our football in.
“It’s a very special thing for us as players to play in Europe and I think it’s obvious how special it is to the fans, you only have to look back at the way they have encouraged us over the previous four group matches.
“We have to reward ourselves and the fans by making sure that we win tomorrow night and of course we’re representing England in this competition to the eyes of Europe as well, so we’ve got some responsibility to do things the right way and to be successful.”
You can still buy tickets for tomorrow night's big game against Zulte Waregem. We currently have our 2 for £22 offer running which includes Sunday's game against Derby County, and of course season ticket holders can attend tomorrow's match using their season card.[Click here for more details on 2 for £22.]