Ryan Tunnicliffe talks about how to deal with Ipswich Town.
There isn’t much preparation time between Ryan Tunnicliffe’s first 90 minutes for Wigan Athletic and his return to former loan club Ipswich Town, but the combatant midfielder expects everybody in the squad to be ready for a tough test against a side he speaks of fondly.
Last night Tunnicliffe made his first start and first appearance at the DW Stadium for Latics, but he admits focus has quickly turned away from the Sheffield Wednesday victory.
“If we beat Ipswich it will show a real statement of intent to the rest of the division.
“To win three or four games in a row in this league is a difficult achievement, so to win a sixth game in a row will send out a big message.”
Recalling his time at Portman Road and the style of the team, Tunnicliffe added:
“They run, run, run and never give up. They like to run teams off the pitch and they score goals by pressing.
“During my time there we were one of the fittest teams in the league, so it’s going to be difficult this weekend, but our style is pretty similar and Ipswich will have to be wary of us just as much.
“The gaffer wants us to press high and win the ball in the final third, something which has been very effective in our recent games.
“Looking at both teams there aren’t many differences in that respect and it’s shown in the league positions up until now because Ipswich very much want to push for the play-offs.”
As he plots the Tractor Boys’ downfall this weekend, the 21-year-old shared some kinds words about his former team mates, saying:
“My time at Ipswich was great, it made me grow up and mature on the pitch and off the pitch.
“When I left the club I said I’ll have friends for life there because all of the lads were great.
“I keep in touch with some of the Ipswich boys and it was a great environment to be in, it will be nice to go back and see them.”
Last time Tunnicliffe was involved in a Latics versus Ipswich clash, he came out on the losing side at the DW Stadium.
Admitting it will feel odd to face his former club, Tunnicliffe said he’s now only focussed on one thing.
“It’s a strange situation for me because I played for Ipswich in the last meeting and I remember feeling disappointed.
“My aim now is to focus completely on Wigan Athletic and to help make sure we continue our recent run at the weekend.”
“The dressing room is a great place to be right now and I’ve come to the Club at what is clearly a very good time.
“If you’ve got the targets that this club has got then you all have to be in it together.
“We’re definitely all pulling in the same direction and it’s visible to everyone with the way we celebrated last night.”
Touching on last night’s win against Sheffield Wednesday, Tunnicliffe said it was a good feeling to make his home debut:
“It was nice to receive a good reception from the supporters, their reaction to the late goal was brilliant and there was a real buzz in the stadium.
“It was a tough evening, but having a battle on the pitch suits me and I do like a tackle.
“It felt as though I played well, but I also felt a bit rusty and a bit sloppy in the first 20 minutes.
“Maybe that’s because I’m playing in a new team and I’m still settling in, but I’m just delighted to get playing and for us to get the win.”