Defender and stand-in skipper determined for derby success.
- We’re still very confident – Perch.
- Disappointed dominant Brighton performance returned no points.
- Pleased to return to action.
Defender James Perch says Latics head into Friday night’s local derby with Bolton Wanderers still full of confidence and belief.
The 29-year-old, who has stood in as Latics captain in recent weeks in the absence of Emmerson Boyce, feels Bolton will be invigorated by their success under new boss Neil Lennon, though Latics have their own belief stemming from good away performances at Wolves, Derby County and Brighton & Hove Albion.
“It’s going to be tough, it’s a derby and they’ve got a new manager who has gone in there and done well and given them a lift.
“We go there still confident and ready to do our utmost to win the game.”
“We’ve played well against Brighton, Fulham and Derby; there have been a lot of positives but we go again on Friday.”
Reflecting on the Brighton defeat, Perch admits he was baffled as to why Latics left the AMEX Stadium empty handed.
“It was one of them games where we dominated for in excess of 75 minutes; the first 15 were a bit cat and mouse but I think after that we took control and the stats would show that,” he added.
“Me playing centre-half, I was pretty much just sat back watching the game for long periods with the midfielders and attackers going multiple times wave after wave – the goal just never game.
“It was a chance to get a win and keep the run going, I thought we had them, but chances didn’t go in - on another day it could have been 4-0 to us.”
On a more positive note, Perch’s return to fitness has added options to a defence lacking in numbers with Ivan Ramis, Emmerson Boyce and Andrew Taylor all injured in recent weeks whilst Leon Barnett missed the clash on the South Coast due to suspension.
“It was great to come back in, I had another little problem with my thighs which I had 14 days off with,” Perch continued.
“Obviously it’s not the best circumstances with the centre-halves we have missing but good to come in all the same.”