Gaffer hopes 2,500 Latics create an electric atmosphere under the lights in local derby.
- We haven’t been paid in points for our performances.
- Marc-Antoine Fortune could return at Bolton.
- First goal key.
Latics boss Uwe Rosler hopes his side will be rewarded if they find a repeat of their performance levels in their last three away Sky Bet Championship games.
Rosler has watched his side take four points from clashes with Wolves, Derby County and Brighton & Hove Albion with the latter and the former both games his side could have won on merit.
And the former Manchester City striker is excited for the local derby and battle at the Macron Stadium, especially if his forward players can find a clinical touch.
“It’s nice to be on Sky and we’re very much looking forward to bringing our form into the game; in general we’ve played well but we’ve not been paid in points for the levels we’ve reached,” Rosler explained.
“We’re well prepared, well recovered and we have a chance to bring in one or two fresh players - we’re looking forward to the battle.
“I think Brighton was one of our best performances away from home; we completely dominated against a team that normally has the majority of possession.
“There’s not much we can do different; the application of the players is first class, they work very hard in the way they play in the opposition half and what we need now is that clinical touch.
“We’ll keep on working on it – when we don’t get paid for our work it’s important we don’t lose that belief and confidence in those high standards that have worked well for us.”
A potential answer to any goal-scoring worries is French striker Marc-Antoine Fortune who, despite not having the most prolific record, has been vital in the link-up play that has proved so successful this campaign in creating chances.
“We have to be honest, at the moment, we don’t have a Charlie Austin sort of player that makes 25 goals a season,” he added.
“We have different strikers with a different style of play; Marc-Antoine Fortune for example, he’s played very well for us this season, he wasn’t first-choice at the start of the campaign but he worked his way in and you can’t ignore his performances as a coach.
“He’s very important in the way we play, he’s important to us as a platform and I’m looking forward to how he’ll cope with their two big centre-halves.”
Latics took four points off their local rivals last season with Jordi Gomez’s last-minute penalty almost making it six at the Macron Stadium.
And Rosler says, having looked back at that performance, that he needs his side to be on the front foot and in the battle from the off if they’re to get three points this time around.
“I felt in the first-half at their place last season we struggled to cope physically but in the second-half we came into the game and had a chance to win the game with the penalty.
“We have to be prepared from the first moment because in our league whoever gets the first goal gets the initiative and the momentum can swing in their direction.
“Last year the atmosphere was hostile at both games, I expect evening games to take even more out of the players, more adrenaline and the game will be scrappy and physical.
“I know Neil Lennon for how he pushes his players in the right direction; he’s galvanised them, they are now playing with a higher level of energy and intensity and they try to force mistakes off the opposition and we need to be prepared for that.”